It has been quite a couple of weeks as we have emptied our old house and completed its sale. Twenty-three years of stuff and fond memories to let go of, and two days of hard work as we got the new house ready to be rented out to friends.
It was a week or so ago, as I burned decades of sensitive old papers, that it struck me how much we were leaving behind as we move into this next chapter of our walk with God.
I must admit that I (Myles) am the more sentimental of the two of us. Burning old work documents I remembered the people, teams and product launches that had filled my life for so many years. Dumping old itineraries I remembered family holidays and the rich memories they had laid down for a lifetime.
But, perhaps surprisingly, Ruth and I feel an overwhelming sense of peace and rightness in what we are doing. As we let go of so much and prepare to go where we really feel called.
In recent preaching engagements as I focussed on the topic “why mission”, I have been repeatedly drawn to the account of Jesus meeting the woman by the well in John 4. The encounter changed her life, and she was immediately moved to witness to others concerning the Messiah. However we read that in doing so she had to leave her water jar (4:28) – to let go of what was familiar and important – so she could go and serve her Master.
As disciples, don’t we so often make the mistake of clinging on to the familiar and worldly attractive and hence limiting our ability to serve the Lord. It reminds me of the old ‘Jungle Doctor’ story of the little monkey trapped by the hunter because it is reluctant to let go of the bright bobble in the bottom of the narrow necked pot. At any time it could have let go and escaped but it just had to hold on to the worldly attraction.
Friends, let’s learn the lesson and let go so we are better able to fulfil our commission (Matt 28:18-20) to “go and make disciples of all nations”.
Let’s listen to God’s call to let go of the things of the world and go wherever He calls us – next door or next continent, Malawi or Middlesborough, Blantyre or Bearsden – to bear witness in life and deed to our Lord.
He is calling us: Let go and let’s go!