One of the things I have learned as I work toward ordination is that I had to learn to give up. Not give up like waving the white flag but give up in that I needed to relinquish those things that have gotten in the way of my doing the work God is calling me to fulfill. I remember when I first felt God wanting me to go into ministry. Once I got past the “who me? are you kidding!” stage, I started giving God reasons why he was wrong. Why I would not be a good minister. To begin with I can’t remember where verses are in scripture. I sit in awe of those who can rattle off not only the scripture but the chapter and verse where you can find it and I stand amazed at those who can say where a verse is when they only hear part of it quoted by someone else. And I wonder why in the heck does God want me?????
So we wrestled back and forth, back and forth. I finally realized that while there are things I am not good at like memorization of scripture (I mean I can’t even remember what I did yesterday), there are those things that I do very well. Like being a good adminstrator, or allowing people to try a new ministry idea and I definitly do not micro manage anyone, as well as other gifts and graces needed to be successful in ministry. But God and I seemed stalled on the stuff in my life. I did not want to give any of it up. As someone who is a member of the Methodist denomination I knew that if I made it through the tough ordination process I would have to move. I did not want to move. I like where I live. I have deep roots where I live and yet as I wrestled with this issue I finally came to understand that what I was holding on to was just stuff. If I took a good hard look at all the stuff in my house, there was not that much that couldn’t be replaced. My memories are not tied up in things but in the people in my life. As I came to this and other realizations I began to be able to relinquish all the things that held me. Letting go I found a freedom that I am not sure I can really put into words. What I know is that now when things get broken as they have a tendency to break, I find I rarely get upset. It is not that I can really afford to break everything I own, It is just that I know “my things” are replacable. People on the other hand are not. So I don’t get mad about broken stuff as I would rather help the people in my life have a saving relationship with God and to know that no matter what I will be there for them. In coming to the place where I relinquished all my stuff and turned it over to God to handle I have been freed from the tyranny that stuff can place in your life. At some point in time I may need to move but I am no longer afraid to pull up roots and move to where God needs me to serve. In the end what I discovered about myself and about life is that we want to control who and what we are and some of that is tied to our stuff. When we are able to relinquish our stuff, we are also giving up some of that control. When we are ready to do that we open ourselves up to new possibilities. Putting God in control will ensure that we have a wild ride ahead but I for one wouldn’t miss it for all the world.
May God help you to relinquish the hold that stuff has in your life. Amen