Faith column: There is a time to hang on and a time to let go
In Ecclesiastes 3:6 it says, “A time to get and a time to lose; a time to keep and a time to cast away.”
WORTHINGTON — I remember when my first child was born that people would tell me to take advantage of the time as it goes so fast with your kids.
They would say, “Today they are a baby and it will seem like tomorrow they are getting ready to move out of the house”, or “The days are long but the years are short”.
Time is an interesting thing and I have learned that at times it can seem like it goes so slow and yet other aspects of life seem to go so quickly when we look back on things.
In our Sunday morning service, I spoke on “A Time To Let Go”. We find Solomon in the Bible writing a poetic message about times in life and how there are different times to do different things. He reminds us that a wise person understands the time and the place for each activity of our life and finds meaning in appropriately timed actions.
Although we cannot determine the time of our birth or the time of our death, we can make wise decisions in the life we live. In Ecclesiastes 3:6 it says, “A time to get and a time to lose; a time to keep and a time to cast away.”
In our lives there is a time to keep and hold onto things, but there is also a time to cast away or let go of things in our lives. Many times we are so accustomed to letting things come into our life but then it seems it is not so easy to let go of things. We try to carry too much at once without letting go of something.
Take something as simple as carrying the groceries. When I go to carry groceries from the car, I will try to grab as many of the bags as possible in one trip. If you do this like me, you have also probably experienced dropping a bag or having a bag rip out of your hands and the next thing you know, some of your groceries are on the ground. Instead of taking smaller loads, we try to load up all the items.
This happens in life, and I believe unintentionally while going through life we begin to carry so much of our life and things from the past that our load gets heavy. This heaviness at times is more than we can seem to carry at once. And I venture to say, even more than we were intended to carry at once.
In Hebrews 12:1 it says “let us lay aside every weight … and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.” Laying aside every weight means there are some things in our lives that become like weights to us and we are going to have to let go of, and even cast them off so we can run this race.
There may be things in your past that you still carry today. It could be past mistakes, past failures, past disappointments, past hurts from other people, fear from the past, and anger from the past. Things you may have experienced in your life that have become like a weight in your life. If you have ever tried to run while carrying weights, it becomes very difficult and at times impossible if you carry too much. These things can get a strong grip in our lives, like it seems it’s impossible to actually let them go.
When you carry something with a strong grip on it, it can actually become hard to release the grip. If you hold onto something for so long your muscles become contracted to that form or shape and it is like you literally have to pry the fingers back to remove the grip and let go of it. Things in our past can be something we have held onto for so long with a tight grip that it can become hard to let go of them.
However, God has not designed for you to carry all of those things in your life. Matthew 11:29-30, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
If we are willing to give our past to God and let it go, his load is light and we do not have to carry it alone. If we will trust God and release our pain, mistakes, and hurt, it will release things that are holding us back from moving forward.
If we have to tight of a grip on the past, we will not have room to grab hold of the future God has for us. God has a future filled with hope and promises. Promises full of what he wants to do in our lives, but as long as we keep holding onto the past, we will not fully grab on to the future that we are called to!
Will you trust God, lay things down that have happened from your past, and leave them there and not pick them up again? Lay down your past hurt and pain and grab hold of your future that God has for you!
Ryan Enderson is pastor at Abundant Life Church in Worthington.