As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” At once they left their nets and followed him (Mark 1:16-18).
A few months back, I began dreaming of traveling the world. I didn’t know how it would happen, but I fantasized about packing all I owned into a bag and working from my computer as I set out on a global exploration. I wanted a new adventure.
Eventually, my material possessions grew burdensome. They felt like so many ropes tying me down. The idea of dragging all that stuff to wherever I would move next made me shudder. I started reading blogs about minimalism, simple living, and how to pack for round-the-world trips.
So my housemates and I had a garage sale. I put more items in the sale than anyone else, but even when we bagged up the leftovers to be donated, I realized there was still more that I could live without. I went through my wardrobe piece by piece, setting aside anything I could bear letting go. “What if I need it?” became the most hindering question. But the more I chose to let go, the easier it was to do. I learned to tell myself, “It’s nice to have, but I won’t miss it.” Now my closet is nearing empty, all my kitchen supplies are bequeathed to my housemates, and my furniture has been divided among several college students.
Instead of experiencing loss, I’m relishing the freedom. It feels liberating. Simply letting go can sometimes be a healthier choice than hanging on. I’ve found this to be true with my material belongings as well as with my relationships.
Recently God told me it was time to let go of a relationship I had wished would change. I had invested myself in hope so much that I couldn’t imagine ever moving on. God said I needed to give up the relationship to his control. At first my instinct was to cling even tighter. It felt like to let go would mean losing something I never had anyway.
But God didn’t see it that way. He wanted me to let go so I could gain, not lose. When I finally did give in, God took care of the hopes and feelings I thought would never leave. He freed me.
Ridding myself of material baggage has made it easier for me to begin my next adventure, and in the same way, losing emotional baggage unburdens me so I can gain new relationships God is preparing for me.
A season of my life is ending so that a new one can begin.
When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him (Mark 1:19-20).