There’s an old joke about a man who, while walking through the countryside one day, was distracted and fell over a cliff. On the way down, he managed – just barely – to grab on to a branch of an overhanging tree. As he hung there, he quickly realized that he couldn’t hold on forever, and there was no way to climb to safety. He began to look around to see if anyone was nearby to help him, but he couldn’t see anyone. So, he began to call out: “Help! I’ve fallen over the cliff! Is there anyone up there?!” Soon, he heard an answer: “This is the Lord God. I am up here and I will save you, but you have to let go!” The man thought for a minute and then called out: “Is there anyone else up there?”
It is imperative to our Spiritual lives that we learn to let go. The problem is, though, that letting go is so counterintuitive for us. We want to hold on to everything, control everything, because when we are in charge we can be sure everything will work out all right. At least we think so. The truth is that God is in control, and just like the rich young man in today’s Gospel reading, we have to learn to let go of everything that keeps us from letting God be God in our lives. So the next time we feel like we’re hanging by a thread and there is no way out, may we hear the Lord’s call and actually let go. That is the only way that we can achieve faith’s goal, the salvation of our souls.