What do we leave behind?
**Each week we are following up the sermon theme for our lenten series, Hitchhiking with Jesus, with a devotional that continues the thought of the sermon. They will make sense without the sermon but if you missed it and wish to watch you can always catch them on our YouTube page here along with anthems and next week’s sermon teaser.****
Years ago, I read a thought on forgiveness from John Patton (formerly a pastoral care professor at Columbia Theological Seminary) that used the metaphor of a being an air traffic controller. All the things we are carrying with us: the worries, the slights, grievances, shame, guilt… all if it, they are all like airplanes circling our brain. The more “junk” that is circling the more energy we are investing just keeping it all from colliding and crashing. It becomes a full-time job just to maintain it all… energy that would better be served elsewhere creating, fostering, and celebrating life.
In this scenario forgiving someone, forgiving yourself, and allowing grace into the equation, is the equivalent of landing an airplane so we don’t have to keep it going and can let it rest in peace. The regular practice of such forgiveness and grace allows us to stop living life backward in maintaining a set of things to which we are beholden and which suck the life from our present and future. Thus forgiveness, in this understanding, isn’t simply about what we owe (or should do) for the other. It’s something we owe ourselves: an unburdening of self. Remember, Jesus said, “I come to give you life, and life abundantly.”
As we are hitchhiking with Jesus we are invited to drop go our nets and follow. We are invited to sell off possessions, drop oppressive labels and expectations, and yes – even traditions and ‘ways of being’ that may once have been helpful but have become masters of our daily routines. We are called to drop them all. Land the planes… and move into the future with the freedom Christ offers us.
What are you carrying? What weighs you down? What anchors you to death? What planes are you keeping aloft at the cost of people around you… and your own sanity?
What do you need to leave behind?