Sunday 8 February 2009

Letting go

Sometimes you look at their youthful fervency and wonder, what happened to me? How did I wake up four-and-twenty and jaded? But there is fire in their spirits, and it's a thin line to walk between channeling that fire to God and breaking their wings before flight.
It's a balm to the soul, sometimes, when I do the little I can, and get thanked for nothing. It's like hey, maybe I really did do something right after all. Maybe it's just enough for them that I be there, no matter how useless I feel.
And there - that exposes again that stupid need in me to feel as if I have done something, accomplished something, when over and over again God says there is no need. It's been done! All you have to do now is to come and surrender.
Like I told him, echoing the wise words of leaders past, (was it Tryphena? I forget)
don't you think that as much as you care for the cf (or isca in this case) that God cares even more?
No? And so it comes down again to the issue of letting go.
Let go, let God. It's fast becoming an overused cliche.
But it isn't easy letting go of the past. In some way or other, who we are is really a culmination of who we used to be. Our present 'now' wouldn't be the same if we hadn't gone through some of those painful experiences in the past. Yet sometimes the hardest parts of our pasts to let go aren't really the painful ones. Those we sometimes step out of easily, remembering that all our sin and shame has been taken away, redeemed, by Christ on the cross.
The greatest bugbears to give up are often our successes. It's our remembrances of what it used to be like that keeps us worrying and fretting over the future of our 'pet' youth groups or cfs, taking a healthy sense of ownership one step over into possessiveness. That's where pride steps in, saying, if I were there, I would be able to help direct this. I wouldn't have made those stupid mistakes, tolerated those attitudes, allowed those things to happen.
And yet sometimes we need to remember that if our season for it has passed, we must move on and hand the reins to those in position. And though we sometimes wince and think but that's not how it should be, we should always keep in mind that these experiences too will shape them to become who God wants them to be.
It may mean that things might get messy, but God has never called us to be perfect has he?
He's called us to be real.

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