Let Go of Everything But God
By Howard Thurman
I must let go.
For so long I have held to the habit of holding on.
Even my muscles
Are tense; deeply fearful are they
Of relaxing lest they fall away from their place.
I cling clutchingly to my friends
Lest I lose them.
I live under the shadow of being supplanted by another.
I cling to my money, not so much
By a wise economy and a thoughtful spending
But by a sense of possession that makes me depend upon it for strength.
I must let go–
Deep at the core of me
I must have a sense of freedom –
A sure awareness of detachment – of relaxation.
I must let go of everything.
I must let go of pride. But–
What am I saying? Is there not a sense of pride
That supports and sustains all achievement,
Even the essential dignity of my own personality?
It may be that I must let go
My dependence upon triumphing over my fellows, which seems
To give me a sense of security in their midst.
I cringe from my pain; I do not relish
The struggle of life but I do not want to let go
Because the hurt and the tension of contest feed
The springs of my pride. They make me deeply aware.
But I must let go of everything.
I must let go of everything but God.
But God–May it not be
That God is in all the things to which I cling?
That may be the hidden reason for my clinging.
It is all very puzzling indeed. When I say
“I must let go of everything but God”
What is my meaning?
I must relax my hold on everything that dulls my sense of Him,
That comes between me and the inner awareness of His Presence
Pervading my life and glorifying
All the common ways with wonderful wonder.
“Teach me, O God, how to free myself of dearest possessions,
So that in my trust I shall find restored to me
All I need to walk in Thy path and to fulfill Thy will.
Let me know Thee for myself that I may not be satisfied
With aught that is less.”
Source: Deep Is the Hunger