A thousand times I would sit down and lace up the same smelly, worn-out shoes. A thousand times I would attempt to put an orange ball through a 10ft hoop. A thousand times I would step into a gym and lose myself in the hard work of improvement. And a thousand times I would try to get out of my own way.

When the moment came, I was always prepared, but I didn’t always preform. I felt robotic, trying to will the outcome, trying to control every detail, and always re-learning that it was actually out of my control.

But there were these moments of absolute bliss, where I was able to release the weight of the world on my shoulders – release the weight of control – and just play. In these moments, I forgot who I was and what I was doing. I forgot that there would be a winner and a loser. I forgot that I could fail. In these moments, I was at my best.

We must work everyday, whether we feel like it or not; otherwise when it comes time to get out of the way and listen to the work, we will not be able to heed it.

Madeleine L’Engle, Walking on Water

This experience of getting out of the way opens up new possibilities for our lives. It is a hard process to learn, a destination we may never arrive at, and a continual giving over of self, but it is a way in which we work side by side with our Creator. Our prayers, art, work, and play all have the ability to expand beyond ourselves. It is not all up to us and it is not all our doing.

Think back to a moment in your life where you accomplished something beyond yourself. You wrote something that was even more powerful than you imagined, you played a sport beyond your ability, you landed a huge deal at work that seemed impossible, you gave birth to a child. Those moments are divine whether we name it as that or not.

In this life, in our creating and struggling, our searching and finding, we are given the gift of revelation. A gift that we often miss because of our obsession with self. We try to control and manipulate the process, never realizing the magic that happens when we get out of the way.

Most days on the court I was overly aware of my humanness. I knew I would probably fail – miss the shot, turn the ball over, mess up the play – and therefore, I played with hesitation and fear. But on the really good days, when I knew I put in the work, and I trusted myself enough to get out of the way, I felt infinite. That is the place where the magic happens. That is the place where human and Creator meet.

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1 Comment

  1. Right on. We’ve all been there. Thanks for helping remind us we are just human.

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