Healing Power

Running commentary on how Jesus' Healing Power is affecting my life - and helping me to help others.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Why Is It So Hard To Let Go?

A wise man once said, "Let go and let God." I found it attributed to a lot of different people, I don't know who said it first. It's one of those nice clichés that we like to pass along with a smile to someone who's having a rough time. Robert, a guy I worked with during a very short contract to the Houston Fire Department, shortened it to "let it goooooooooooooooo," referring to my anger management issues. I have to admit that I have trouble with both.

A week ago today, my wife went out of town to visit her ailing mother. She left me a list of honey-dos. The most important item on the list was completed within the first two days of her absence. APPLAUSE Yesterday, I completed another task: I mowed and edged the front yard and trimmed the hedges. The backyard is still a lake from Saturday's storms. Still, there are some items on the list that haven't been getting done.

Why? 'Cuz I really enjoy slacking off. I made this confession to an older friend at church yesterday. This friend is the man to whom I look when I want an example of a Christian. His name is Noah, and I've never seen him say a cross word about anybody - either to their face or behind their backs. He chastised me in a way that only he can. He said, "My friend, you have a lovely family. You have a wonderful wife. You have talents and abilities and youth on your side (he told me I have youth on my side). Why do you want to slack off? Why don't you get out and do something with your life?"

So, I came home and took care of the yard. I felt a heckuva lot better. I'm not abandoning my wife's desires. She won't be angry when she comes home this time.

Hmmm. I appear to be rambling again. I'll get straight to the point now. This morning, when I woke up, I prayed asking God to, again, do with me what He wants to do. Then I asked why He lets me do the stuff I want to do that is in a direct violation of His will. The answer was that He lets me do anything I want. If I choose to please Him, that's great. If not, I face the consequences - some of which are of His design, others are just the natural flow of life (like my wife coming home and finding the house a mess and her to-do list forgotten).

The thought, "Let go and let God" popped into my head. If I were to completely let go of my desires - those things that hold me back in this world, like being the master in CivIII only because I know a cheat - I would be doing His work. If I were to abandon me and devote myself to others, I would be doing His work. If. Why can't I do that?

It's not satisfaction. I get a lot of satisfaction from going into the prisons or giving a homeless guy a meal. And the satisfaction is immediate.

It's not desire. I truly desire to follow God's will and do His work during every waking moment.

It's not lack of motivation. I have plenty of motivation to at least follow up on my honey-do list without slacking off. I like to see my wife smile.

So, why is it so hard to let go?

I guess at the root of it, I suffer from pride. I need to be the one in charge. I need to be the one that says all the stuff on that list needs to be done. Since my wife said it, it's not my decision. Quickly, I scanned through a search on the word "pride" on Bible Gateway. I found over 50 negative references to the word "pride" and only 9 positive references - two of those were actually using the word as a pride (group) of lions. It appears that God doesn't like pride. In Ezekiel 28, God says He will bring down the king of Tyre because of his pride. In Proverbs, there are six negative references to pride, the most famous being, "Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall." (Proverbs 16:18, NIV)

Pride prevents me from doing what my wife asks me to do in my own house. Since I'm not doing what she wants me to do, I've got a lot more time to play CivIII. OK, since I've got all this free time, why don't I go out and minister to the homeless and volunteer for more prison programs? Well, it's another of the seven deadly sins: I'm lazy. Those require I take a shower, get dressed, and go outside my house. I'd much rather sit around in my underwear and take over the world in CivIII. Man - I'm really starting to see a trend here...

Do I know the solution? If I did, I would be a millionaire. Many folks have written entire books that can be summed up with "Get off your lazy ass and do something!" And, I suppose that is the solution. But it's so hard to do. I answered the question in the title of today's post. I know the reason it's so hard to let go.

Do I know how to fix it? No.

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