Thursday, February 26, 2009

One Split Second

As I was loading the dishwasher it occurred to me that I wasn’t being as careful in my handling of dishes as I normally am. In fact, I nearly lost hold of four glass bowls and sent them crashing to the floor.But, I realized, in the space of one split second, that I was okay with that.Haley, my youngest daughter, had aided in this process of letting go by being the first to break one of our “fish” dishes. These fish dishes are part of our everyday china collection that we received as a wedding gift 12 years ago. They are so cute!I know a four-year-old breaking a dish is oh-so-normal. In fact, it is altogether abnormal that we haven’t broken one up to now. After all, the dishes are 12 years old and our oldest child is eight. Anyone who has spent any time with us knows what a miracle this is.The significance of this moment is that it got to the heart of my issue with letting go. My things are precious to me. I don’t make a lot of new purchases. I just hold onto a lot of stuff for a long time.So, this epiphany that I would be okay with not just one dish breaking, but four, was a source of freedom for me. If I can let go of a fish dish, then I could let go of other things as well. Maybe, I could leave it all behind!?Was I unaware of how these things have held my heart and mind captive? Do I own these things or do they own me?The truth is, I have been indifferent and avoiding this very conversation. I don't want to be challenged to give up the comforts of my home. I don't want to be confronted with letting go of what is mine. But, I have been challenged, and I have been confronted with these questions, "Where does your treasure lay? Who or what holds your heart?" Wow. This all started with one silly dish. Must a dish be so demanding? Though this little thought began with a dish, the effects travel much further and penetrate much deeper. The things that I place value in and give attention to hold my heart. If I let go of everything with my heart, how can I be sure that I won't be asked to give it all away with my hands? What will I have left, and what else might be required of me? And, there it is. The root of this problem. Do I trust God?Yes. I do - though my actions don't always display it. Still, in that inadequacy, I am encouraged by the words of Jesus, who, in response to his disciples who had left everything to follow him, said: “I tell you the truth, no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields – and with them persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first.” Mark 10:29-31Funny how it takes a split second to receive these gems, an hour to write them down and a lifetime to work them out.