to pass from one place or position to another.
It’s Tuesday (Friday) again, and you know what that means… today is Truth Be Told Tuesday (Friday). Thanks for checking in.
Almost every time I watch TV I see and hear Samuel L. Jackson ask me; ”What’s in your wallet?” My thought is always the same; “ Not much – and whatever is in my wallet doesn’t stay in my wallet for very long.” With the rising cost of gas, college tuition, pre-school – and yes, I have two in college and one in pre-school. Whatever, I’m fine!? – braces, kid’s activities, groceries, golf, golf clothes, GOLF, there isn’t much left.
When it comes to money it’s easy to let go of it. I guess that’s what happens when something has wings; it easily can fly away.
Wouldn’t it be great if our past pains, hurts and troubles had wings too and flew away just as easily? If only it were as simple as letting go like we do with our finances.
Earlier this week I had the great pleasure to speak with a good friend that I just reconnected with earlier this year. She shared with me the pain she has in her heart over a broken marriage and the pain has manifested itself in the form of anger, bitterness and a cynical outlook on life.
There were a few things I wanted to touch upon but I chose to simply state that we can’t control what has happened to us in the past but we do have the power to relinquish oneself from the devastation and hurt caused by another.
All we have to do is let go.
I went on to share with her four letters that I wanted her to file away and never forget: H.A.L.T.
H.A.L.T. is an acronym for never get too Hungry, too Angry, too Lonely nor too Tired. It is when we become anyone of these four things we tend to lessen our ability to grow, make good decisions and move on from a particular situation.
Relinquish control- all control and H.A.L.T.
A good friend of mine- Ken Murphy- once said; “I think most of us have control issues. We try to control the environment for our kids, we want to protect them, want to help them choose the people they hang out with, want to help choose the right attitude for them. We want to control things that especially affect our life.”
I agree with those words.
Many times our challenge is to recognize the emotional toll and destructive path we take when we try to take matters into our own hands and make a futile attempt to control everything in our life, the people around us and our past hurts.
The one thing that I’ve learned during my short time on this earth is that there isn’t anything I can control except my behavior and attitude.
That is really about it.
Everything I try to control outside of that speaks to my arrogance, ignorance, immaturity and vanity.
When dealing with control issues in life and relationships there are three important steps to take into account.
Allow me to share.
Giving Up vs. Giving Over
In reading Luke 5:1-11 the reader finds out quickly the dissatisfaction and frustration Simon Peter and his fellow fisherman were experiencing.
“When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”
Two things that stand out when reading those two verses, and the complete passage, are the astonishment the men felt concerning Jesus and His ability, and desire, to perform this miracle on their behalf. God wants to help us and aid us in every area of our life, all we have to do ask and wait with an expectant heart. It is called faith. The second point that needs to be acknowledged is the fact that many of us, when confronted with things beyond our control, tend to give up and give ourselves over to despair and resignation. What we need to be reminded of is if we really want to take complete control all we have to do is give it all to God; don’t give up, give over complete control to the One that knows the beginning, the middle and the end of each situation and problem we encounter. When we give over instead of give up we display for the world to see that our hope and trust is in God not our self.
The key to giving over requires practicing the art of letting go. Do you have children, adult children that are making poor decisions after poor decisions? Is an ex treating you with complete disdain and malice? More tragically is your ex treating your child poorly? Ever lost money in a business deal? Have you experienced a child being mistreated by a peer or coach? Or both? I could keep typing for days about the many things we hold on to with what we think are good reasons. What we all need to recognize is that fully giving over control when it comes to our relationships, our dreams and our problems calls us to be willing to let go of our own issues; the issues that we hang onto and the ones that hang onto us. The core issues many of us struggle with are in the areas of unspoken and unresolved hurt, insecurity, low self esteem and the “I’m nobody” mentality, pride and the need to always be first and always be right, unrealistic expectations of our self and others, and finally, guilt and the inability to accept and receive God’s forgiveness, and to also forgive ourselves. With all of these issues, and any issue that holds us back, we at some point have to move on and let go. Remember this, letting go is not the same as giving up; quitting. One provides peace, the other regret. Let go and begin to grow.
Ephesians 2:8-10 states:
“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith, –and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God– not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
It is God’s grace that we are to grab a hold of and cling to everyday like our life depended on it… we need to because it does; our life does depend on God’s grace. Picture yourself in the middle of a lake on a boat with your legs tied together, your arms tied behind your back and a 500lb stone was chained and wrapped around your waist. Then imagine you were thrown overboard. At this point death would be a complete certainty. And then, when all hope was gone and complete despair had taken residence in your heart and mind, another person out of nowhere appears with a life preserver and tells you to “grab hold.” And as you grabbed hold they came to you, pulled you to safety and then cut all the ropes that had you bound, and removed the stone that was weighing you down so you could be free. If that were to happen to you that person would be known as your Savior, the one who saved you and freed you not so you simply could return to the depths of the ocean; to your old way of life, but to live with renewed passion and purpose; to experience life anew. Remember, after we give over and let go then we are to grab hold and grab hold tightly to His grace.
Is there anything or anyone you need to turn over control to the Lord? Is there anything, or anyone, you are carrying around with you like luggage that you would like to let go of and leave with God? If so, fix your eyes on God, focus on the One that can rescue you, deliver you and redeem you. 2 Corinthians 4:18 states,“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.”
What do you have your eyes fixed upon?
Is your vision focused on your problem, past hurts or past failures, or is your faith in the One that can provide a solution?
Are your eyes fixed upon the seen and temporal, or the unseen and eternal?
Finally, when we choose to control our past pain we often lose twice. We lose in the past and we lose in the present. At some point we have to do ourselves, and those around us, a favor and let go of the hurt and devastation. Give your past pains and hurts wings and allow them to fly away.
In order to accomplish your goals of “giving over”, letting go and grabbing hold you have to HALT. To “Halt” you have to protect yourself from becoming too hungry, too angry, too lonely and too tired. When we try to control our pain, problems and everything in our life we isolate ourselves from others and from healthy living; leaving us more often than not hungry for something out of our reach, angry about not getting it, lonely in our isolation and tired from trying too hard.
In the end, the thing that so profoundly struck me about the conversation I had with my dear friend was when she said; “Shawn, I’m weary.”
Internally I understood; I’ve been where she is many times.
But all I told her was to HALT and let go.
That is my “Truth Be Told” for June 24, 2014 (tbtt . #59)
sbb . 1643Move On . George Michael iTunes | Spotify