Out with the Old
In my house, fall is a time of purging. Fall reminds me that the holiday season is approaching, and soon there will be an influx of new things. We have enough things, so I tell my children that before anything new comes into our house, we should get rid of those things that we aren’t using, that someone else might enjoy. So we make piles: piles of things to donate to Goodwill, piles of things to give to friends or family, piles of things that we should not have held onto in the first place, that will go into the trash. As we cycle through this purging process and these things leave our house, I feel a weight lifted. I look outside at the trees shedding their dead leaves, and I remember that when we let go of something, we make room for something better. Before new life can come, something must die. For me, fall is a time of letting go of the past and looking forward to the surprises that life and God have in store.
Sometimes, my children are reluctant to let go of their old toys. I remind them that they haven’t played with them in a while and somewhere, there is a child who would cherish that toy and a mother who can’t afford to buy it brand new. How thrilling it would be for that mother to find that toy at Goodwill, and be able to give it to her child. I know as a parent that if they make this sacrifice, and give away some of their beloved things, I will make it up to them. I will buy them something new that they will enjoy more. But sometimes, they still cling to the old, and I imagine that God must look at me as I look at my children at that moment. Here I am, clinging to my dysfunctions, bad habits, and unhealthy relationships. Despite God’s gentle nudging, I’m reluctant to loosen my grasp on these things because I find the familiar comforting. What I fail to realize in these stubborn moments is that God isn’t trying to take something wonderful away from me; He’s trying to take away something that does not benefit me so He can replace it with something that does.
This fall, as the trees shed their dead leaves, and my children donate their abandoned toys, I will try to let go of my past, and make room for a life full of new, better possibilities.
Is there something that you are holding onto that might be preventing you from having something better? What is keeping you from loosening your grasp?