There seem to be so many things that I "hold" onto to make life work. This week I came up against one of them. I'm an adjunct professor at Trinity International University and I enjoy being in the classroom. All my teaching notes, all my presentations, I keep on my laptop.
Well, the night before my class this past Monday, my computer crashed. I had no way to get to my notes, or to my PowerPoints. My computer was exhibiting the "blue screen of death" -- some kind of "stop error" crash that kept my computer restarting all the time without being able to get passed the Windows screen.
Well, I finally took a text book from class, and highlighted the points I wanted to cover, and more or less went into class and tried to engage them with what I remembered of my preparations prompted from the highlighted passages in the class text. I was nervous, felt flustered, etc.
At the end of class, I was somewhat miserable -- I talked the whole time, little student interaction, etc. A student let me know that I seemed to be more flustered by this than they were -- and they still had a pretty good learning experience.
What I began to discover is that my dependency on things such as technology are things that have a "hold" on me. They hold me, rather than me holding them. And so it stifles me, it inhibits my creativity, it causes me to focus inward and on what I am going through, rather than seeing this as an opportunity for adventure, for experiencing life, for going with the flow.
Going with the flow, requires, I think a different kind of dependency. Not on the things that we try to hold onto -- because most of them are petty. Rather, I think it is in finding that which takes a hold of us in a way that enables our creativity and engaging in adventure.
What makes me free? What is able to set me free? I have a strong hunch its in being held by the One who created me and reaches out to be in relationship with me. St. Paul in writing to the church in Colosse wrote, talking about Jesus Christ, that "he is before all things and in him all things hold together." I am discovering that there are a lot of things that do a pretty lousy job of holding me together - -because they may fail at critical times of my relying upon them -- be it computer technology or even relationships. But what if relying on Jesus Christ to hold me together is the way to go? If indeed he does hold all things together -- including me -- then the life I live in connection with him frees me up to go beyond the things I have hoarded to help "hold" me together. If I am going to experience life fully, then I need to be held by the One who is able to hold all of life together and fill it with significance and adventure.
So I do I go about being held by Jesus Christ? Perhaps it is as simple of making a conscious confession every morning -- "Jesus, take a hold of me today, so that the only thing I depend upon is you" I have a feeling that I will get less flustered as stuff happens in my life that is unable to really "hold" my life together.