I love purses. I love going to Taiwan and finding beautiful, lovely purses. I love walking into a store and spotting a wonderful purse. I love receiving purses. In fact, I actually get giddy with excitement when someone gifts me with one. So consequently, I have a few of them. I have a rubbermaid bin of purses that I have in my closet and I periodically change my purse out for a different one. Some time ago, I was looking at the bin and thinking that when I bought another one, I would have to get rid of one. And I have some that I can get rid of. But it’s really hard to do so. I have a few that are worn, they really don’t work as well as they used to and they are definitely older than ones I usually use. But I have kept them even though their usefulness has worn out. Probably because I have so many memories attached to that purse or those purses. Purses to me are like stories, stories of trips to Taiwan or cruises or tours through New York. They remind me of struggles I have been through or victories I have wrought. They remind me of tickets held or beautiful notes from loved ones slipped in to one of the pockets. They are like pictures, memories if you will. But all the same, I have to let go if I want to add a beautiful, more useful purse; if I want to feel the delight of smelling new leather and seeing shiny accessories hanging from the purse; if I want to feel my heart beating faster as I put the purse on my shoulder and feel the way it tunes in with my body as I walk.
And I think that our lives are like that sometimes. Sometimes we let our lives get so full of what is not useful to us that we don’t allow those things in that will free us or make us happy. Sometimes, we need to let go of that hurt or that worry or that fear, in order to free our mind for the better things of life. Sometimes we need to let go of that job we hate in order to find the job we love. Sometimes we need to let go of bitterness in order to leave room for the freedom to find a new home in our mind.
Maybe it’s not a bad thing that we need to let go. But maybe we need to simplify or streamline something in our lives. Maybe we have to just simply to let go of the good to grab ahold of the best.
A few months ago, we sang a song in Church.
Take my heart, I Lay it down
At the feet of you whose crowned
Take my life, I'm letting go
I lift it up to You who's throned
And I will worship You, Lord
Only You, Lord
And I will bow down before You
Only You Lord
Take my fret, take my fear
All I have, I'm leaving here
Be all my hopes, be all my dreams
Be all my delights, be my everything
And It's just you and me here now
Only you and me here now
You should see the view
When it's only You
Sometimes it is hard to let go. Often it is painful. That is our stuff. Those are our memories. Those are our dreams. Those things are a part of our life. But sometimes, ever once in a while we need to let go so that we can make room for what really needs to be in our lives.
It’s risky to let go. It’s daring. Maybe you will regret it. Maybe it will lead to unfamiliar territory. Maybe you will hurt. Maybe you will find yourself in a broken place. Letting go is messy. It’s unpredictable.
Maybe, just maybe...
There are so many questions; so many variables.
But we need to choose - with trembling hands, to grab ahold of the courage that it takes to let go. In 2014, let’s leap into the new year, without that which bogs us down, without that which makes our lives more complicated than it ought. Let’s give ourselves freedom to be what we need to be - to do what we need to do. Let’s let go.
What do you need to leave behind in 2013? What do you need to let go of today?