After much perpetual prodding from my wife I was guilted into facing the greatest challenge of my life— cleaning out my Study. Mind you, this is no small matter. Centuries of books line the walls like added insulation. When I gave myself to address the volumes of history I found copies of the US Constitution, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and papyri from the Library at Alexandria. In the dust collected I discovered micro-organisms which linked directly to the Big Bang. Together, my wife and I even found strands of hair from “the Missing Link.” (She mused if I might be shedding.) We decided that attempting to complete the task should be stretched out over a couple weeks to protect my delicately imbalanced psychological structure.
As I inhaled dust particles from before the last Ice Age it became apparent that a great battle was taking place. Deciding what should go and what could stay was hard enough; but it was more than that. I was at war with myself. I had to decide to let go of history, of meaningful parts of my very life that at one time were my very essence. Never mind that I held captive some of the most influential books ever written, even rare books! Some had to go: some could stay. I was re-experiencing The Agony and the Ecstasy as I dug deeper into the ancient manuscripts to determine if they held any significance for my present life-situation.
Letting go. Why do we have such a hard time with it? There’s safety in the past. Really!?! Do you know the saying—
Nothing is more responsible for the good old days
than the passage of time and a bad memory. [Franklin Pierce Adams]
We hang on to our past because we fear the future. We neither want to live up to the demands of life NOW, nor face the challenges of an uncertain future. Uncertainty is frightening. No argument there. But what if…, what if, we could face it with less baggage? What if we let the past lie there, in the past? None of us can afford to rust on our laurels or go back to the way it used to be. The only choice before us is to learn from the past, to live in the present, and to plan for the future. We can do it with either anxious fear or anticipation and excitement.
Enjoying the present and trusting God for the future is a great beginning! But, unless you are an archeologist, hanging on to the past will only weight you down. It’s gone. Time for a little Spring Cleaning.
Have a nice week,