(Original Post 3/23/2015 – Updated 3/24/2021)
“You let go….I had it first!”
“No you didn’t….it’s mine!”
If you’ve ever spent time around two year olds, this probably sounds pretty familiar. If one 2-year-old is currently holding a bright red rubber ball in her hand, or if she had held the ball earlier or if she were even thinking of picking up the ball at any time since she first laid eyes on it, then it rightly belongs to her….right? Conversely, if another toddler had never held the ball, never thought of holding the ball and doesn’t really even know what the round, red thing is, by virtue of the fact that he has now seen it and desires it, then it must rightly belong to him….right?
One way or another, one of those kids is going to end up with the ball, possibly following a small tussle with or without whining and tears.
Somewhere along the way of growing up, we develop a greater awareness of others, and
this is when things really get interesting. We still want things just as badly, but now
So much of our lives is spent finding our rubber balls, using our rubber balls, collecting more rubber balls, building places to store our rubber balls, then fretting what to do with all the rubber balls we’ve collected, because now we have so many, but we worked hard for those round suckers….and way, deep down there’s a toddler, still wanting to close her fist and claim what belongs to her…because it’s “mine.”
There’s nothing wrong with having stuff if we’re not so attached to it we break into a sweat at the thought of letting it go. But things happen, don’t they; things we can’t foresee and certainly can’t control. Suddenly our stuff is damaged, or we watch it being divided and carried away, and we realize what we wanted all along wasn’t the stuff at all, but the feelings, the memories and the people attached to it all. But if we can’t predictably control all the stuff in our lives, we certainly can’t control the people either, nor their comings and goings. The pain of loss is no less dramatic for us oh-so-mature adults than the two-year old whose ball has been so unjustly taken away. We want to stiffen our backs, ball our fists and yell, “Give it back! It’s mine!”
Never more than during the season of Lent do I wish I could sit and share a solid conversation with Jesus and ask him what he was truly thinking and feeling those last few weeks before he was crucified. How did he do it? How did he continue to wake up and walk into each new morning, knowing his days were growing fewer and fewer? How did he let go of the friends – his family that I know he deeply loved, knowing they were going to miss him so terribly?
It wasn’t about the “stuff” with Jesus….it never was….it was always about people – about us.
So as I struggle with learning to let go, I’m thankful I have Jesus to look to. He knows
So I lift my empty hands, and let go of all I can’t own or control. And I stand waiting for them to be filled anew, knowing all I need will come in its time, because he is truly “mine”. (Yours too.)
What do you need to let go of during this season of Lent?
I know what it is for me – so what if we try to loosen our grip just a little and see what God has for us? We can do it together. =)