There is no time in Spirit. I learned that lesson the summer we lost our apple tree during a thunderstorm. High winds uprooted our big, beautiful tree, heavy with fruit. As sad as this was, the timing made it even worse.
My husband, Denny, is a historical reenactor at Fort Osage, a Kansas City-area fort built in the early 1800s. He is passionate about his hobby and served as a volunteer interpreter for many years, dressed in period clothing from the early 1800s. He portrayed a French Osage person listed in the fort’s rolls: Jean Marie le Castore. Denny educated visitors from the perspective of a Native scout and, during festival weekends, taught children about traditional archery. He had been eagerly awaiting his opportunity to take part in the 200th anniversary of the Lewis and Clark Expedition with a group of reenactors who were repeating the 1804 voyage up the Missouri River and were scheduled to stop at the fort the very weekend after our tree fell.
Denny had prepared for months by creating authentic implements, from weapons to eating utensils, to jewelry and clothing. He had spent years developing his character, even learning some of the Osage language from a CD given to him by a local elder. He and the other interpreters at the fort were a family, not to mention walking encyclopedias of American history.
Denny had poured heart and soul into this endeavor. He was not able to take time off from work to tend to the downed tree, so he believed he had no choice but to forgo the weekend event. I shared his disappointment. I knew better than most how much he had looked forward to this onetime opportunity.
Besides feeling bad for my husband, I was dealing with bronchitis and a fever, so my spirits were low on the rainy Thursday morning after the tree fell. Trying to get past my feelings, I had a frank, one-sided discussion with God about why my husband deserved his special weekend. Not that I thought I could change the circumstances; I just needed to vent. I ended my rant by exclaiming, “I give up!” After releasing my emotional energy, I tried to pull myself out of my negative spiral by speaking some positive words of affirmation.
The mind-body-soul connection does not respond to only conscious, thoughtful words. My expressions of stress and upset opened me up, allowing me to access the power of release, letting go of the illusion of control.
Letting Go and Letting God
In that moment, I wasn’t consciously engaging the spiritual practice of surrender. In my exhaustion and frustration, I had simply given up. Or so I thought. I did not realize I had begun to let go and let God, the process of acknowledging the underlying order of the universe and opening the way for positive and often surprising outcomes.
I didn’t see it then, but I know it now: The mind-body-soul connection does not respond to only conscious, thoughtful words. My expressions of stress and upset opened me up, allowing me to access the power of release, letting go of the illusion of control.
This little nugget of understanding that there is no time in Spirit began within minutes of my surrender. I heard a noise outside and was a little confused when I looked out the window. I saw two trucks in front of my house, one pulling a large trailer driven by Pat, the husband of Denny’s coworker Sheila. Denny’s boss, Deren, drove the other. Just then, Deren called to let me know that as soon as the rain let up, they were going to cut up the tree and haul it away. They knew how much the coming weekend meant to Denny and had driven over to our house to surprise him.
I was ecstatic! Their generosity and thoughtfulness overwhelmed me. The timing was a beautiful demonstration of divine order. I realized then that even as I had lain on the bed feeling sad and dejected, even as I had prayed for help, it was already on the way. Indeed, it was literally around the corner.
Divine Order: Always Working for Good
And that’s not all. There is another chapter—a prequel—that brings this story full circle and definitively demonstrates there is no time in Spirit.
Earlier that year, we had bought a new truck and offered our old, broken-down one to Pat and Sheila to use on their farm. We knew that Pat, who ran an automotive business, could fix anything. He was driving that very truck the day he came to carry away our felled tree. When I went outside to thank the guys for their help, Pat responded, “You gave me the truck!” I was reminded on that day that you never know how things will unfold, but you can always have faith that everything is working for good.