"L’Eggo” my ego
Logistics and planning are still necessary aspects of my life. That’s why it makes sense to pause and wait on God as the one Ego.
Since the 1970s, a popular brand of waffles has been making “punny” advertisements with the slogan “L’Eggo my Eggo.” In plain English, that’s “Let go of my Eggo!” All puns aside, this advertising campaign actually inspired and helped me at a high-pressure time. I was deep in the weeds as head of the logistics team for a conference of two thousand people. The details of contracts, meals, accommodations, and meetings were dizzying. I didn’t know where to begin and had zero experience with project management. Furthermore, this was a volunteer gig; I still had my full-time job to do.
Despite the complexities of planning the event, I maintained time to pray each day—to go into the closet of prayer, as Christ Jesus taught (see Matthew 6:6), or the “quiet sanctuary of earnest longings” as Mary Baker Eddy describes this closet in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures (p. 15).
I remember calling my cousin to pray with me one particular day. From that conversation, two healing ideas crystallized for me. It was very clear that I needed to “L’Eggo” my ego—let go of my ego. I was trying to manage the project conscientiously, but I detected some egotism in my approach. It wasn’t working! I needed instead to turn it all back to God. But what did that mean?
I took heart in thinking about Moses’ trepidation during the burning bush experience on Mount Horeb. I could relate to his doubt that he had the credentials to lead. God’s response in the face of Moses’ concern was simple. Moses was to assure the Israelites, “I AM hath sent me unto you” (Exodus 3:14). I am, God, is always up to the task. I am is the heart of it all, omnipotent and uncontested.
Mrs. Eddy understood the need to abandon a mortal ego for the divine Ego. She explains this term I Am in the Glossary of Science and Health this way: “I Am. God; incorporeal and eternal Mind; divine Principle; the only Ego” (p. 588). I saw that because the Ego is God, I couldn’t create an agenda or make a decision without God. God is the source and impetus for all legitimate thought and action, which means that as the child of God, I am in constant connection with His holy purpose. Instead of being hyperfocused on my success or failure with the project, I could see that God was not just “in the details” but was actually governing all the details.
My cousin and I also talked about the instruction from the Bible to “run with patience the race that is set before us” (Hebrews 12:1). Until that point, I’d felt as though I were running a bunch of marathons simultaneously, without much patience. Not productive and pretty exhausting. Focusing instead on God and letting God love and lead me captured what it meant to run with patience the only real race before me: working out my salvation. In that God-impelled race, there was precision, peace, and confidence. The conference could do more than simply accommodate participants’ needs; it could be transformative and spur spiritual progress and growth.
There’s a passage in Science and Health that’s especially useful to consider when faced with a mountain of work or with self-doubt: “Beholding the infinite tasks of truth, we pause,—wait on God. Then we push onward, until boundless thought walks enraptured, and conception unconfined is winged to reach the divine glory” (p. 323).
So, that’s what I did. I did a lot of pausing to pray. I stepped back from my computer. There were a lot of long walks. In the quietness, I felt God cherishing me and all and guiding us forward. Quite literally, a new and timely list of tasks formed for each day. Members of the committee I was working with took their tasks bit by bit. Different teammates volunteered to take the lead in areas in which they had professional expertise to get the work done.
In the end, the conference was more than perfunctory. Participants reported that it was lively and, best of all, healing.
Today, logistics and planning are still necessary aspects of my family life and of being self-employed. That’s why it makes sense to continue to pause and wait on God as the one Ego. Whether taking care of details for my work, walking into a store hoping to efficiently find what I need, or scrambling to get my children out the door to school in the morning, I can say, “OK, God, this is Your day. Guide me.” Turning it all back to God, who is Love itself, helps me see that divine Love is the impetus for the work. “We have nothing to fear when Love is at the helm of thought, but everything to enjoy on earth and in heaven” (Mary Baker Eddy, Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p. 113).
It’s always about God. When the “little e” ego is quieted, there are fewer opinions to get in the way or feelings to get hurt, and less doubt to struggle with. “Big E” Ego is heard and felt. The good work we do each day is not separate from God; it is how we commune with and know God, Love.