Sunday, September 16, 2012

Holding On and Letting Go, Part Three

How are we supposed to know if we are holding on to and letting go of the wrong things?  I think it takes a different vision.  We have to get our eyes off of the here and now and look to eternity.  If we could have an eternal, birds-eye perspective of the things we go through in this life it might change what we hold on to.

It's kind of like Monday morning quarter backing or coaching.  I'm sure tomorrow all the Vikings fans will be second guessing Frasier's decision to not go for two or some of Ponder's moves.  It's easy to see now that we know the outcome. 

When I was in High School I was involved in student council.  One of the jobs we did was planning Sno Daze, the winter festival.  We had royalty from each grade that were crowned at a pepfest on Friday during school.  This was a big school with thousands of kids.

So during the pepfest we had teachers crowning the winners.  For some reason, we didn't have it written down so we were just telling them who to crown which in retrospect seems really, really stupid.  It all was going along famously until we crowned the seniors.  We told them to crown "Molly", but unfortunately there was also a girl on the court named "Mari".  You can see how in a loud gym full of high school kids that mistake could be made.  And we crowned the wrong girl!

 After it happened, I felt like the world stopped.  We all kind of freaked.  Then someone suggested that we didn't really need to say anything.  Who would ever know? 

Until someone aptly remembered the Sno Daze edition of the school paper was being handed to students on the way out of the pepfest.  On the front page were the pictures of all the winners.  So, Molly was robbed of her crowning moment.  I think the whole dance line wanted to kill us.  And it seemed horrible.  Really, really horrible.  To the seventeen year old me, it was the end of the world.

Is that how our earthly worries and comings and goings will look through eternal eyes?  I know that's not a perfect example.  The things we go through here can be hard, horrible and sad.  But instead of grasping on to the gracious love of Jesus, we let go.  We walk away and lose heart.  Small decision, by small decision turn to our own way.  We hold on to the ways of the world; materialism, selfishness, immorality and other things when we should be holding on to Jesus.

2 Corinthians 4: 16-18 says,
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
When Paul wrote this, he was suffering.  He suffered a lot through his life and ministry.  He was beaten, imprisoned, persecuted and shipwrecked.  I wouldn't exactly call those light and momentary troubles.  But as he kept his gaze fixed on Jesus and the world beyond this he realized it was nothing.  He was looking toward eternal glory.

I am usually so bogged down dealing with laundry and cooking and people and even church stuff that my eyes are not fixed on what is unseen.  If I could allow God to change my vision through more time in the Bible, I think it would be abundantly clear what to hold on to and what to let go of.