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Letting Go

by: Ellene Meece

Clinging to the past, longing for the way things were, resisting inevitable change . . . can often rob us of the best of things to come.

It is human nature to enjoy the comfort of the familiar, to care about traditions that offer us security and place status on people and places that represent a happy time for us. But, when we constantly resist change, it becomes a stumbling block to claiming a bright future.

Christmas traditions are among the hardest to let go. Even though some of us have personally experienced the changes that a premature death in the family can bring to those perceived happy Christmas customs, just growing older comes into play as well. For the first time in sixty-four years, I am facing not going "home" for Christmas. After a few weeks of coming to terms with this fact, my goal is to embrace what is and let go of what was. Or as stated by The Christian Treatment Center, "Let go of what was and have faith in what will be."

In a small town in Colorado, the old elementary school in the center of town is being torn down to make room for a justice center. Even though the process has taken years to come to the oh-so-final-demolition stage, many in the town are still grieving. From sharing favorite memories to casting blame for its demise, they are clinging hard to the past. For now, it's almost impossible to have faith in what will be and that it just might be good.

Letting go of a painful relationship is often a major stumbling block. Even when it's all over the emotional grip continues on and prevents us from seeing the positive in anything.

In an article by Cat O'Conner, she expounds on letting go with a worthy illustration,

Two monks were on a pilgrimage. One day, they came to a deep river. At the edge of the river, a young woman sat weeping because she was afraid to cross the river without help. She begged the two monks to help her. The younger monk turned his back. The members of their order were forbidden to touch a woman.

But the older monk picked up the woman without a word and carried her across the river. He put her down on the far side and continued his journey. The younger monk came after him, scolding him and berating him for breaking his vows. He went on this way for a long time.

Finally, at the end of the day the older monk turned to the younger one. "I only carried her across the river. You have been carrying her all day."

Letting go can be difficult. Letting go of people, ideas, expectations, desires; letting go of bad habits, false beliefs and unhealthy relationships . . . the list goes on. Every day, every moment presents an opportunity to create ourselves anew, to shrug off the baggage of the past, open ourselves up to the possibility of the moment and take action to create an incredible future.

Philippians 3:13b-14 Amplified outlines our position, " . . . forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead. I press on toward the goal to win the supreme and heavenly prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward."

What better encouragement for letting go? After all, living in the past is not really living



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