Let Go and Let God
When you have been through a period of worry and tension, it is usually the practice of your doctor to have you take a vacation in some quiet restful spot where you can relax completely, forget your past worries and gain strength.
Very few people today know how to relax, they live in a world of rushing hither and yon. Each day is filled with work, engagements and no time for relaxation. Even when people take time off to go to a movie they usually want an exciting one, thus gaining more excitement for their already overworked nervous systems.
The average man at business is a good example of high tension living. If successful, he tries daily to better his past successes. The excitement of greater successes keeps him in constant tension, and fatigue remains unnoticed until he is in a complete state of mental exhaustion. The busy doctor, teacher, stenographer are good examples of high tension living. These people find that after they retire to bed their active minds will not let them rest, but they go on planning further ideas for the following days.
The rearing of children and providing meals for the family each night takes its toll from the nerves of the dependable mother. She becomes irritable, she cannot get rest even when she retires to bed, and sooner or later she has to seek medical advice to quiet her nerves.
We have nowadays all kinds of machinery in the home to save work, to save drudgery, but they have not in any way relieved the sense of nervous strain of the householder; in other words, we are all trying to bum the candle at both ends. We do not know how to let go our anxieties.
In this present century man has forgotten how to live, how to enjoy the simple things of life: the sunshine, the garden, quiet walks along country lanes. All of us every day look over our budgets, our costs in living, our economies, but few count the costs of life in terms of nervous expenditures.
Take the average man and woman of our present civilization, as soon as trouble comes, as soon as some little thing goes wrong -- what do they do? They reach for a cigarette, a sure sign of nervous trouble, for they have become used to the solace of this potent drug. Many times we find people who suffer terrific pains in certain organs of their bodies, and when the doctor examines them he finds not a single thing organically wrong with them. Nerves, nervous tensions can bring tremendous amounts of real pain to every one of us. After years of struggling with life, we have never learned how to let go our tensions and fears.
Many children become nervous types because their parents give them too much attention, too much personal worry about nonessentials, too much being cared for and being watched over. The causes of overactive nervous systems are many, so the doctors tell us, but among these causes we must claim that the worst causes of all are our constant rush and the complexity of the way we think and live.
In spite of the worries of everyday life, we must always keep before our minds the utter need for us to relax, to get rest and healthy sleep. Complete relaxation is the sure remedy for this thing called nervousness. Worry about the little and big things of life, worry about things which you fear may happen to you in the future, all tend to bring about tension. Worry becomes a real habit and if constantly practiced can bring about physical death after much suffering. What can you do about it? Learn to relax, learn to face the tribulations of life without fear, stop crossing bridges ahead of time, for worry is the interest you pay on trouble before it comes.
Show me a worrying person and I will show you a person who does not know how to relax.
Our religious faith, Christianity, shows us the complete answer to nervous troubles and tensions. A single constant affirmation that the everlasting arms of God are holding you up, repeated hour by hour until you become convinced that God is now your guide and stay, will often bring you out of worries and fears, but how many Christians will really let go their fears and let God handle them?
Suppose that you have a broken watch and you take it to a watchmaker, asking him if he can repair it. He takes out his glass and looks at the works and says that he most assuredly can repair it. Suppose then that you say to him, "Thank you," place it back in your purse or pocket and leave the store. Will you get that watch repaired? Most certainly not, for you have to leave the watch with the watchmaker.
It is just the same with your religious life. You have to get into the habit of leaving your troubles with God. The only complete and sure cure for your bad nerves, as you call them, is to relax in the hands of God and know that He is now looking after your troubles, that He is now guiding you into the quiet waters of inner peace.
If you have a poor tire on your car, what do you do? You can drive more carefully than ever, avoid the bad roads, the side and gravel roads, keeping to the main highways. So it is with your body. If your organs have withstood very badly indeed the wear and tear of life, then you must learn to take care of them until you gain that complete healing which can only come from a real, earnest practice of your religion. To him that believeth, all things are possible, says the Bible; but how many Christians really try to believe this statement?
The most wonderful thing that ever happened to me was this: many years ago I let go my past and let God take over my life. When I completely surrendered my life to Him, I lost my temper, my fears, my years of deadly illness and sicknesses. It meant facing life every hour with the truth that was in me to replace the negative thinking of a lifetime.
It meant an hourly contact with God, in the street car, the bus, my own car, my laboratory -- no matter where I went I had an appointment with Him. What came of it? Peace of mind, health and spiritual prosperity.
Are you willing, friend, after reading this chapter to-day, to find God? Are you willing to put Him first in your life? Are you willing to let go, and let God be your mentor from this day on?
Then if you are, you, too, can have no fears, no tensions, no nervousness, no worries. When you take His yoke upon you, your life is a converted one. No longer do the sins of the devil haunt you, no longer can the so-called powers of evil assail you, but you learn to live happily, healthfully, confidently, because having let go, you let God and abundant living come into your life.
Copyright © 1951 by Albert E. Cliffe