Control and Forgiveness

It seems only natural that at the end of a school year I start to reflect on that year, but rarely do I do that spiritually. When I do, however, these two buzz words appear not to chart my growth as a person, but present all the challenges in the world.
As my spiritual director reminds me, “Control is an illusion.” When I reflect on my activities this year, my unrest about the future, I realize that in the moments I tried to control things, muscle through life to its conclusions, no peace, no solitude, certainly, no certainty came. But at the moments where I’ve been able to focus on my ministry, my work in the present and trust God in the moment, possibilities have arisen for the future in a comforting, exciting way.
This weekend at church a friend of mine preached a sermon and reminded us about the difficulty of forgiveness, the particular difficulty with accepting God’s forgiveness because that act makes us instrumental in God’s plan to impart forgiveness to other. In a magazine the other night, I stumbled upon the suggestion that forgiveness is not as much for the person to be forgiven as for the transformation of the forgiver. And it seems true, it seems another aspect of relinquishing control to admit that the world, others do not need our forgiveness as desperately as we often do. Practicing forgiveness rather than offering forgiveness seems to be a true challenge in relinquishing control.

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