Learning To Let Go

About a year ago, my son discovered cell phones. Every parent experiences this at some point. We were still living in Indiana and Noah was three. I don’t remember exactly when it happened, but suddenly and with no warning at all, Noah wanted Mommy’s and Daddy’s cell phone. He finally discovered that our phones were different from his phone. His Micky Mouse cell phone just beeped a few times and gave a nice greeting from the Disney character. But Mommy’s and Daddy’s cell phones had games. If you pressed the right buttons, their cell phones would call Nana or Mama. He was hooked. If a cell phone was left unguarded, it was soon at the disposal of a three-year old.

As you can guess, Kristen and I were constantly wrestling our phones from Noah. Well, I would. Kristen would just give her calm, yet terrifying warning that all moms have perfected, and he would hand it back. But for Daddy… The game was on! I would chase Noah around the open floor plan of our home as he giggled uncontrollably. I would let him run a couple of laps around the house before scooping him up in my arms. He would laugh and giggle and say, “Mine! Mine!” over and over again.

“Yours?!” I said. “You have my phone, but I have you!”

It struck me one day how interesting this scene was. Here my son was holding on so dearly to this cell phone yelling, “Mine!” Yet, I was holding him… and the phone! Sorry, buddy, but in that moment, not only does Daddy have the phone, but he has you as well! Nothing is yours!

But how often do we, as adults, do this with God?

Oh, man, that stings a little. At least it does for me. Maybe you have no problem giving all of your gifts and talents for his service. Maybe you have no trouble with understanding that everything you own -house, car, even your phone- is actually His. Maybe you have no problem being a regular giver at church (I’m not talking a buck or two, but a significant percentage of your income). Yea, maybe you don’t struggle in these areas.

But I sure do.

It’s my stuff, right! That’s what I worked hard for. I don’t want much in life- just a nice house, nice car, and maybe a motorcycle. And an iPad. You can’t forget the iPad! That’s not too much to ask, right? I mean, it sounds so silly when we lay it out like that. Yet, how many times do we live our lives just like Noah, yelling out at God, “Mine! Mine!”

I think God is looking at us and saying, “What are you talking about? I am holding you. That means I have all of your stuff, too!” As a dad, it was almost comical seeing my son fight for something that clearly he had no control over. At any point, I could have taken it away. He had it because I allowed him to have it. Is this not our relationship with God when it comes to “stuff”?  I can’t help but think of my mom’s favorite verse:

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. -Matthew 6:33

We don’t need to fight for stuff. I encourage you today to let go. Stop fighting for the stuff that isn’t going to last anyway. Let’s seek God and what He wants to do in our lives, and we may be surprised at all the amazing blessings -and “stuff”- God chooses to give us.

Today, Lord, I pray that you give me the strength to let go of my stuff. Let me realize that it is all Yours to begin with. I do not want to live my life with a clenched fist, but with an open hand.

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