September 18, 2000

Sometimes peace of mind means letting go

Josh Renaud

Ever had a horrible week? I thought I had experienced my fair share of tough weeks; that was before I tripped headlong into this week.

Things weren't going my way. Crises just kept piling themselves on top of each other, jumping into the inbox on my desk, and then screaming for attention.

Well, I had opportunities to get upset with everyone, from myself to my family to Current staffers, to particular student "leaders" to God Himself.

It all came to a head Thursday.

That day was supposed to be a cakewalk. Managing editor Brian Douglas and I were supposed to moderate a discussion forum with the SGA candidates. Seemed easy enough, and despite a few initial setbacks, the forum started off well.

You know, I don't get threatened very often. When I do, it's usually in jest or over something of little consequence. Until that Thursday, I had never been threatened with a lawsuit. But somebody decided to change that during the forum. It was exactly what I didn't need that day.

It rattled me, shook me hard, made my head pulse and throb in pain. It distracted me from what I needed to be doing. It made me very angry and uncertain of myself.

I finished out the day very frustrated and a little intimidated. When I came home, my family helped me out by listening to me speak my mind. And it was at home that I realized holding a grudge and thinking evil of this individual was poisoning me more than anyone.

As a Christian, I find that one of the best places to find answers is the Bible. It was there that I read about God's promises for people who are persecuted. It was there I also read the tough command to love my enemies and to pray for those who curse me.

So that's what I set out to do. In only a day's time, I had received peace stronger than I've felt in a long time. I set aside my rights to revenge, I set aside my worries and concerns, and I received freedom.

This sort of experience isn't unique. I've read countless stories of others who have found the same joy and freedom through forgiveness and setting their burdens aside. It occurred to me that this sort of freedom is exactly what certain folks connected to the SGA might need to experience.

After all, it's easy to get upset at a University and an administration when you feel your rights have been violated. It's easy to decide to propagate a message of anger, hate, and fear. Heck, it's easy to be legalistic and pursue what you perceive to be justice. With a certain amount of luck, it might be possible to get what you want through court battles, intimidation, or aggression.

But in the end, is it really worth it? Will it actually benefit you or anyone else?


Wouldn't it be better to release it, start over, and find freedom?

Just let it go, my friend. Just let it go.

This article was reprinted with permission from The Current.

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