The crew team at Notre Dame Academy in Toledo achieved a record for rowing a stationary rowing machine for the greatest number of hours ever recorded. It may be a long time before their record is broken, because they rowed 40 more hours beyond the previous record. While I know nothing about rowing, I know an Egyptian proverb that goes like this: “The rower reaches the shore partly by pulling, partly by letting go.” When we try to achieve a goal, we may “row, row, row our boat,” but that’s hardly “gently down the stream” as the song claims. Perhaps our goals and achievement depend a bit more on letting go. Dogged determination has its place—and certainly helped the crew achieve its goal—but sometimes letting go and traveling “merrily, merrily, merrily” may let us see that “life is but a dream.”
As we journey this Lent to the Easter shore, we may be advised to pull back a little, rest our good works and sacrifices, and gently turn toward prayer, spiritual reading, and reflection.