By Lisa Huddleston
“I’ve come to cut … through these cozy domestic arrangements and free you for God. … If you don’t go all the way with me, through thick and thin, you don’t deserve me. If your first concern is to look after yourself, you’ll never find yourself. But if you forget about yourself and look to me, you’ll find both yourself and me.” (Matt. 10:34-39, MSG)
In just a few weeks from now, the trees will be bare having let go of their colorful display and looking for all the world like brittle, dead sticks. But appearances can be deceiving. If you’ve lived more than one year on this planet, you know that the tender beauty of spring will be here before you know it restoring the colors of life and releasing buds into delicate new growth that will one day fall to the ground.
That’s just the way it works. The old makes way for the new, and the new blossoms in the freedom of open limbs. Free to grow, to mature, and to let go of anything that stands in the way of the ever-expanding kingdom of God.
What if this year’s leaves refused to fall? What if they hung on for dear life and dug their crispy pointy fingers into the limbs of last year’s growth protesting their death and forbidding any movement toward the changing of the seasons. What a mess that would be–stink and mildew fighting for a place in and among the fresh green growth–death striving for a place among the living. Ridiculous!
And so I’m learning to let go. To let old names fall to the ground. Names like Successful, Achiever, World Pleaser, and Praise Getter. For a time I may look bare–naked and gray, without color or promise. But I know that spring is coming. I feel new buds itching to pop out into pinks and whites and yellows. Not quite yet, but very, very soon.
And so I must let go. Of “cozy domestic arrangements,” of relationships that hold me back, of self-conscious concerns that blind me to God’s pathway. It’s time to go all the way. Finally to forget myself and to find instead both God and me. I won’t lose out on a thing! (Matt. 10:42)