Tag Archives: faith

Letting Go, Moving On

Here’s a profound thought for you:

If you want to move forward, you first have to let go.

Crazy, huh?

Reminds me of when I went ice-skating last winter. I never did learn how, and it had been years—decades—since the last time I tried. This time around I allowed a friend to coerce me into going, even though I was afraid I already knew how it would turn out.

As expected, I couldn’t let go of the rails. I watched as dozens of happy people flew past me, dancing and bobbing in glee while I chuck-chucked alongside the rails. My friend, a first-timer as well, was already gliding around and around, laughing in sheer delight and triumph. How I envied them all their fearlessness and accomplishment.

I knew I could just as easily join them in that experience. No one had tied me to the rails, after all.

But I could not—would not?—let go of the safety of the sidelines. Not when I could fall flat on my behind, or break an ankle, or simply exist, for just a moment, completely and utterly out of my element with nothing to hold on to.

Logically, I understood that I would never experience that sensation of floating on ice if I did not first risk falling flat.

Emotionally, I shrugged and declared, oh well. Ain’t gonna happen.

So I remain a non-skater. For the time being, at least (I haven’t quite given up on myself yet).

But here I am, with the certain knowledge that it’s time to move on with my life. And I realize I have to let go of some things first: particular thoughts, behaviors, beliefs—the sideline stuff, the forces I’ve clung to for safety on the sidelines of life.

For the longest while I believed those things held me back, kept me tethered when I wanted to be free.

But really, I’m the one who’s been holding on with an iron grip.

It’s infinitely safer to hang on to the belief that I am flawed, that I don’t deserve success, that I simply don’t have what it takes to step out onto the rink and fly. Or, I don’t have enough money. I don’t have the right credentials. I don’t know the right people.

At least if I keep hanging on to this sideline stuff, I won’t risk falling flat on my face, right?

But it’s time to let go. Time to move on. Time to trust.

I learned first to trust God. Now God teaches me to trust myself.

Time to let go. Time to move on. Time to trust.

Time to trust myself. Time to believe in me.

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When Common Sense Gives You the Wrong Directions

I want more from my life.

I want more than just a steady job with steady pay and a steady lifestyle.

Don’t get me wrong—steady is good. With the kind of life I’ve lived to date, steady does hold a certain appeal.

But I want more. I want vitality and purpose, I want satisfaction, I want to thrive. I want to get to the end of my life and feel that bone-deep but utterly satisfying exhaustion that comes after you put in a hard day’s work, when you’ve eagerly used every physical, mental and emotional resource given to you to keep the world turning and progressing. And then you get to heave the sigh of the deeply contented.

Common sense dictates that I should go along with the standard operating procedure for achieving this good life: Hard work. Practical, reasonable thinking. Doing the right thing. Being responsible. And if something is broken, fix it. If you have a question, find an answer. If you’re struggling in a job, try harder. If uncertainty strikes anywhere in your life, follow these five steps to total clarity. If there’s a problem, just do something about it.

Common sense would be partially right. But common sense accounts for only half of the picture. It can only get me so far before I start losing my way.

The fact is, the kind of life I want demands a great deal more of me, and not just in terms of hard work and professional striving. It also requires a higher level of trust and faith than I’ve ever known. The kind of faith that makes me quake in my boots because it demands that I go against the tide, that I measure my reality, my progress, even my state of mind by a different set of standards than the norm.

This faith compels me to look beneath the surface of my life, to see with the eyes of my heart and spirit, and not just with the eyes of my mind. Like an ocean current, it nudges me in the right direction, and challenges me—dares me—to push past my fears and reach for what I want. And it urges me to trust, to simply know that I’m in good hands, no matter how choppy things look on the surface.

No easy task, this.

But by faith I will get there.