What Would You Let Go Of?

We all have them.

Preferences.  Needs.  Ideals.  Those things that really make us happy and at peace.  Ways of doing things.  A certain state of existence.  The familiar.  The predictable. 

We seek control, we seek to impose some level of order on the chaos that might run rampant throughout our lives otherwise.  After long enough, we get good at imposing our form of control and order.  We become known and respected for it.  Synonymous.  People look to us to perform this function, to fill this gap, to plug this particular hole in the dyke that happens to match our particular finger so well. 

Could you give that up? 

That need, that identity, that preference, that gnawing item that frustrates and irritates you if it’s not just so, just right?  Could you let someone else replace your finger with theirs?  Could you step away from that role, that identity and allow someone else to do it their way?  Differently, even, from how you have done it, how you prefer to do it, how you prefer to have it done, how you need it to be?

There is a line that is crossed within each one of us, when what we prefer becomes something we need.  When our habit of imposing control turns the tables and begins controlling us.  When our tongues and our facial expressions and our body language become slaves of this need, lashing out at anyone or anything that dares to contradict our insistence on doing something a certain way, on having things a certain way. 

We move from being masters to slaves, and the most dangerous and bitter form of slave – a slave who still believes that they are the master.

How do we get rid of this?  How can we let go of those things, or more accurately, force those things to let go of us?  How do we step free and clear to breathe and be without that identity, that preference, that need?

We can’t. 

Only by the grace of God can we be freed from slavery.  And while as Christians we are fond of focusing on the slavemaster of death – and to a lesser extent sin – that we were once bound under, God is not content to depose only that slavemaster.  We are given the Holy Spirit to continually work in us, loosening the bonds and chains that we ourselves are continually forming, freeing us from the shackles that we consciously or subconsciously clasped to our hands and feet.  Any slavemaster that arises or is created in our lives is one that God seeks to depose.  Any chain except for those that bind us as slaves to the love of Christ should not be tolerated.

But it hurts.  The light is blinding after forcing ourselves into shadows of our own casting.  And it’s hard to let go of things that we know we could do so much better, if they would just let us.  But little by little, day by day, moment by moment, those chains can be broken if we let them.  If we are not insistent on our own way, our own desire, our own preference.

I pray that this is true for me.  For you.

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