I am home sick. I’ve been in bed a few days now. And so I have a lot of time to think. To think and to observe. And there is a lot of loss going on around me.
So many good byes. So many changes. So many things we must let go of.
We want to hold on. Cling tight. We are afraid of losing hold, losing touch, losing all we know, knew, love, loved, all our past.
We hold things close. We value them. Sometimes we don’t know how much we value them until we lose them.
We take things for granted. Then we re evaluate, and try to be present, intentional, in the moment, see everything. Not take today, this moment, this present for granted. For it too will pass on. Change will come.
Did we appreciate it? Value it? Recognize it?
Will we survive the loss?
Often we are afraid we will not survive the loss.
We hold things tighter.
You might thing this is a blog about appreciating what we have.
You might thing I’m headed for nostalgia, or reminiscing, or thankfulness.
Prepare for abrupt hairpin left turn…now.
What are you holding onto? What is in your hand? What are you clutching?
Why are you holding it? Cherishing it? Clinging to it?
Does it warrant being valued above all else?
We are offered the greatest gift ever, and this is the season we speak most of it.
We are offered reconciliation with the God of the universe, the God who is the intelligent designer, the cosmic power.
We are offered forgiveness. And freedom.
And we need it. Forgiveness. And freedom.
Are you an adult? Then you have felt it, the sense that you have blown it. Completely. Blown it. How do I recover? How do I get through this mess, guilt, disaster? How do I rise again from these ashes? How do I escape this prison?
By accepting the gift. The gift of forgiveness and reconciliation.
You will need both hands to receive the gift.
Both hands to take hold of it.
Which means you must let go of everything you are holding.
Sounds crazy, right?
We want to bring the gift into our life. Add it to the pile of things we are currently holding.
C.S. Lewis wrote an incredible book – The Great Divorce, telling the story of a bus ride from hell to heaven. Everyone is welcome to stay. But in order to stay they must lay down whatever it is they are holding.
Remarkably, they cannot. They cannot release those things which keep them chained to hell.
They trade away the opportunity of life, light, forgiveness, reconciliation, God. They trade God for whatever it is they are holding.
So easy to see in someone else’s life.
So hard to see in my own.
What am I holding that is more valuable than God?
My stuff? My identity? My sense of self? My pride? My sense of independence? My lifestyle? My family? My loves? My passion?
We are offered the greatest gift. Reconciliation, forgiveness, new life.
It is not a gift that goes on top of the pile of gifts.
It is a gift to be received with both hands.
After we put everything else down.