Letting go is hard.
It really doesn’t matter what you’re releasing—a project, a dream, an aspiration, an opportunity—letting go always involves a loss of some kind, and every loss results in a certain measure of grief.
Recently – within just a few minutes’ time – I decided to let go of two things that are special to me. One of them has been a significant part of my life for almost three years. I launched a podcast, “Your Church Matters,” in January 2015. The most recent episode was Season 3 Episode 110. I have poured into this project my heart and soul, my best encouragement, and my best practical wisdom gained over the course of almost 30 years of full-time ministry (and 40 total ministry years). Much of that practical wisdom has been gained through making mistakes that I hope to help others avoid.
But it has become clear to me over the past few weeks that this season of my life requires that I devote to other endeavors the energy and time needed to create and produce a weekly podcast. So, those 110 episodes will be available at drgerrylewis.com/yourchurchmatters but no more will be added. I still think podcasting is in my future, but not for the rest of 2017 and not in the same format.
I think I have actually known for a while, but I’ve been resisting it. It feels like failure. It feels like losing part of me. It feels like abandoning one of my children. And I’m grieving the loss.
The second thing I released was an opportunity to do something that I really wanted to do, that I knew I would enjoy doing, and that I knew would be a blessing to other people. Fortunately, I had not yet agreed to do it. If that had been the case, releasing would not have been an option. If people can’t depend on me to keep my word, then my word means nothing.
So, in this case, the grief was different. But it’s still hard.
Have you ever been there, friends? You feel overwhelmed, depleted, too many spinning plates and balls in the air, too many requests and opportunities, too much pride to admit that you can’t do everything, too many people depending on you. And through it all, you are measuring your worth by how much you can get done, trying to prove yourself through achievement, addicted to adrenaline, driven by the need for approval or acquisition, running like a hamster on a wheel and getting nowhere.
Or is it just me?
Here’s the question I’m focusing on today: What does this make possible? I’ve already focused on the loss. But, what might I gain? Who, besides me, may benefit from my shift in focus? How may God use this to teach me more of what it is like to walk with Jesus? What’s truly important right now?
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“Then Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.’” (Matthew 11:28-30)
Your one and only life matters to God. What does that make possible?