There are days when I find myself taking a deep breath, pausing, and in the end usually doing nothing. I recall the first time or two this happened. Feelings of failure and inadequacy were overwhelming. I look back and realize that I had not done anything wrong. I had not failed anyone around me or myself. The emotional overload was the result of realizing that I had a problem without an answer. Stated simply, I had no idea what I should do next. No answers, no solutions, nothing.
The situation was far worse than knowing my limitations. I had discovered that boundary some time earlier. The solution in this situation became obvious, turn and rely on others. As I grew comfortable with this approach to problems outside my reach, I expanded my network of friends and trusted confidants. What I did not know, they did. We had it covered.
Then came the problem with no solution. Even if I was the source, it did not follow that I had any idea how to respond or solve the conundrum. I could no think of one viable answer, much less two or three alternatives. There was no one to turn to that knew anything more than I did. I have come to appreciate how problematic a situation like this can be. Problems without solutions give birth to darkness and despair. When one conundrum combines with another, it builds into a wave of darkness, void of all hope, wrapping itself around your heart and suffocating one’s soul.
There is a solution offered by more than one faith system. Divinity’s open arms invite us to let go and release the wicked problem. The offer includes more action to our benefit; “When the earth goes topsy-turvy and nobody knows which end is up, I nail it all down, I put everything in place again.” (Psalm 75.3)
Letting go is, for me, an unnatural response. Life reminds me that it works. Divinity has consistently responded, often in ways that surprise. I reminding myself that this offer should be considered first, not last.