Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Art Of Letting Go

So, there you are. Cleaning out the garage to make room for the car that actually goes there. You come across an old weed-eater that doesn't work, a rake with a broken handle and a box of old electronic stuff that you had forgotten about. With hesitation and a sigh you think, "Well, I might really need this stuff. I can tape the handle on the rake, maybe I can fix the weed-eater and certainly I'll find use for the old box of electronics." Yeah, even though that box of electronics is over three years old and you didn't know you had it until it appeared again!

I admit, by nature, I am not a packrat. If I don't need it, it goes. A relative of mine yesterday said men like things too simple. I told her that it's not that I like things too simple but I believe in practicality. I will always go for substance over style any day. I'd rather have things that are easy to use, easy to clean and maintain themselves. For example, I hate when I see a decorative tie back over a shower curtain. That's just one more thing to mess with. Isn't it easier to just use a shower curtain? You open it, you close it, finis! But no, we gotta have that extra curtain for decoration that just gets in the way and you have to use the ties to pull it back when you're done. Well, I'm getting on a rabbit trail now.

More importantly is the subject I'm really trying to tackle. In my own life it's easy for me to let go of material things that get in my way. It's not so easy for me to "let go" of old memories, hurts and rejection that have come my way at times. Can you relate? Have you been there? Has something ever been said to you that, even though you have forgiven, it still lingers in the recesses of your mind? I know it does with me from time to time. I have a saying I use. It's called, "keeping short accounts." In other words, I try to take care of things quickly so the enemy doesn't use it as a stronghold later. An unkind word, a verbal jab, a disagreement, etc.

How many people in life are living with emotional scars of things gone by? But, in church you gotta look good, smile and say the proverbial "amen" all the time. Well, frankly, I'm fed up with that premise. We need authentic believers that will help bear the burdens of those around us. I know I've been guilty of not living up to this. The Lord knows my heart as I write, we need authenticity as never before.

Recently a family member and I had a difference over some things. It strained us emotionally for awhile. I was the one who was wrong. It took a lot of courage in the Lord to call him and tell him to forgive me for words that were spoken. I saw him Saturday night over dinner. We are fine!

I know I need to "let go" of things that are in the past. My prayer the other night to the Lord was simple but profound for me. It was me asking God to "let go" of things that no longer mattered. Secondly, I gave him thanks for the life he has given me. At times I've whined like the children of Israel in the desert. As Keith Green would put it, "So you wanna go back to Egypt?" God has blessed me with so many things that I never thought this once shy kid from a small rural town could accomplish. And if I never accomplish anything else, I've had more of a life than many have had. I say that humbly. With no false humility involved, I've often wondered why God would use me? Before I went into Christian radio I would sing a certain song over and over. It went like this: "Jesus use me, please don't refuse me, certainly there's a work that I can do!" That's still my prayer.

Today, if you are hurt over past words from someone, you were abused, or you suffered greatly...let go. Forgive and be forgiven. Sure, if you were a victim of abuse, violence or any other atrocity, you may have to live with the scars. However, I much rather live with the scars knowing I am forgiven, than to live with a grudge in my heart. I speak for myself knowing that the "letting go" process works. After all, we nailed Christ to the cross. How can we, as children of his, hold on to grudges when the King of the universe forgave us when we were in the depths of sin and had no way out? May the peace of Christ be with you all.

1 comment:

  1. Excellent words as always, Randy. You have a real talent with taking everyday subjects and applying them to our spiritual walk.

    By the way...about your comments on my "gray hair" post...yes, I did know you colored your hair. I probably would too, if I was a guy who went gray at a young age. But I still don't think it's quite as traumatic for a guy! :)