As I run on the trail beside the river, with the sun on my face and the wind at my back, I clear my mind of the decisions and issues that are currently going on in my life. Breathing rhythmically I consciously release all of the worry and anxiety. One of my all time biggest fears has been to make the wrong decision and mess everything up. Again at a cross roads of life, a tiny ping of that fear creeps into the back of my mind. I whisper a prayer, “God, guide us in this decision. May we not run somewhere and demand that You bless what we do, but may we be made a part of what You are doing wherever You have us. And Father, help me to let go of what is good; for what is better.”
I am not a hoarder or pack rat by any means. I move far too often to accumulate too much useless clutter anyways. However, I often find someone else’s trash to be a treasure and every once and a while I find something that has made the cut from the last move or Goodwill day and I think, “Why in the world do I still have this?”. You know that old sweater that has a hole in it and you keep saying, “I can find matching yarn and fix it.” or the jeans that will one day fit again. Those are the things that I look at and think, “they have got to go, but what if…”. What if the day after I throw away those jeans I find a cool idea for using jeans in a craft. Or what if I never find a sweater as comfy as that one again? We hold onto things that are good and safe, but what about what is unknown and better?
After my great grandmother passed away we were cleaning out her house. In one of the closets we discovered detergent bottles full of quarters and silver flatware wrapped up in old clothes. The Great Depression had taught her, and many others, to hide away treasures and money for the hard times. Perhaps something in your life has left you devastated and taught you told hold on tight to things, because in a moment they could be gone forever. The loss of a job, growing up without much extra, relationships where they left you. It conditions us to cling to things in a way which might be unhealthy. The way a relationship in the past ended may cause someone to hold tight to a relationship now that is just not working and is not healthy at all. Growing up without much might cause someone to hang onto every chipped plate or torn sweater. Losing a past job may cause someone to fear searching outside the super safe realm of work and settle for a position that leaves them bitter and exhausted.
Giving up good, for better.
I didn’t fully understand the phrase when I first heard it, but life has since then taught me much about these words. It is so easy to settle in what is safe, known, already good. We fear the worst or think that what we already have is good enough. Or maybe, we place ourselves above God and say, “I want this because I think it is best.” Instead of releasing what it good to Him and saying, “Whatever you have for me. Whatever it better.”
Think about the good things in your life today, are they what is best or what is safe? Are you willing to give up your good for what is better even if you don’t understand or it might not look as good at first?