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Learning to let go


Curly-haired Daughter is learning to drive. She's doing fine, and has amassed enough drive time to show us that she is a cautious and thoughtful driver.

I still hate sitting in the passenger seat with her driving.

I know this drives her crazy, as I can usually let her drive there but then I have to take over and drive back. It's not that I don't trust her, it's just that I hate giving up control. It's all me, not her.

St. Ignatius of Loyola wrote a beautiful prayer of surrender:

"Take, O Lord, and receive my entire liberty, my memory, my understanding and my whole will. All that I am and all that I possess You have given me. I surrender it all to You to be disposed of according to Your will. Give me only Your love and Your grace; with these I will be rich enough, and will desire nothing more."

I have the hardest time praying this. It sticks in my throat like a glob of peanut butter, gagging me. I do not want to pray it. I say it, but I don't think I've ever truly meant it.

This is about pride, fundamentally: I know best. I can do better. You're just along for the ride. I'm not just talking about Curly-haired Daughter; I'm talking about God. And of course, this is ridiculous; there is not one thing in Heaven or on Earth that I can do better than God.

And yet, there it is. Hand over the driving duties, buddy. I'm taking over. What hubris!

Today, I'm going to try to pray this prayer. I'm going to try to mean it. And I'm going to let Curly-haired daughter drive both ways.

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