Sometimes when I see my golden retriever, Lady, gnawing
on a stick in the backyard, it reminds me of an incident that happened many years ago. Here’s the story: Once a week I would drive my daughter for voice lessons in a historic neighborhood near downtown Charlotte called Dilworth. In tow was my three-year-old son, David. While Christina was having her lesson, David and I would go for a walk along the streets shaded by stately oak trees and I would admire the bungalows with wide porches and the two-story Colonial Revival homes, most either recently restored to their original grandness or in the process of renovation. Our walks were not complete, and could not begin, until David had a long fat stick to carry in his hand. “A boy thing,” I guess.
On the day of the incident, David and I were a few blocks into our walk when a large dog rushed toward us out of nowhere. He reminded me of a boxer only much larger and more menacing. He took a liking to David’s stick and quickly clamped his teeth around it. He began pulling, and it became a true tug of war between boy and dog with neither giving an inch. The dog, showing teeth growled and snarled. David bawled but kept a tight grip on the stick. I was in a panic, screaming, “David, let go! He’s bigger than you! Let go! Give him the stick!” Despite my pleas, David held tight and the dog dug his teeth in deeper. Unfortunately, the dog was more tenacious and stronger than the three-year-old. When David was forced to let go, he landed hard on his butt on the sidewalk and cried harder. I was unaware that watching the entire drama were a few workers not far away, landscaping a yard. One of the men came over, took out his knife, and cut a branch from a tree. He then handed it to David who wiped away his tears and happily took his new stick. After I thanked the man, he went back to work, and we continued our walk.
The moral of this little story is: We should let go of what we can’t hold on to. I don’t know about you, but I continue to hold on to worries, sadness, and problems instead of letting go. Especially frustrating to human nature is clinging to something that is out of our control. I don’t mean to sound preachy, but the best advice I have found is to “let go and let God.” I have an angel figurine on my dresser holding a sign with those words of wisdom. I should pay attention to it more often. How about you? Are you holding on to something you show let go?