Letting Go

Jun 09, 2003 11:21 AM EDT

Psalm 18:31-36 (NRSV)

For who is God except the LORD? And who is a rock besides our God?-- the God who girded me with strength, and made my way safe. He made my feet like the feet of a deer, and set me secure on the heights. He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your right hand has supported me; your help has made me great. You gave me a wide place for my steps under me, and my feet did not slip.

Jesus said to his disciples, "Why are you afraid, you of little faith?"

-- Matthew 8:26 (NRSV)

RECENTLY I saw a trapeze artist perform. I marveled at the person's talent. In every trapeze act there is a point when the artist must let go of one bar and reach for another. For that split second the performer is not holding on to anything. While trapeze artists' timing must be perfect, the act won't succeed unless they have the faith to let go of that first bar.

I notice in my life that I frequently have difficulty in letting go. Mostly, I am afraid to give up something comfortable for the unknown. I have to explore the new course of action very carefully before parting with the old. Sometimes the direction seems right, but I usually hesitate to depart from the well-known.

Trapeze artists know from practice and experience that the new bar will be there when they are ready. They have to have faith that their equipment and their fellow performers will not let them down; they are certain about their support. In comparison, I am squeamish about letting go. I have made my life into a cozy cocoon, one from which I am hesitant to move. Yet Christ continually calls us from our comfort to step out in faith. Are we willing to reach out, to cast off our fear and grab on to what God offers? Are we willing to soar?

Prayer: Lord, help us reach out in faith to take hold of the wondrous life you offer. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.


Don't be afraid to let go; God is waiting.


Those fearful of the unknown

By D. D. Emmons, Illinois