Ever held on to something so tightly that your knuckles turn white? We've all almost peed our pants on a roller coaster only to be so thankful for the bar onto which we can grab to secure our life (as if our grip on a small rod is going to save us when the coaster breaks down mid upside down loop). You probably know of the card game Spoons in which you grab a spoon and don't let go. Even if someone is dragging you across the table, down the stairs, and through a hallway, you don't let go. Ever gotten the last piece of your favorite desert? You definitely aren't letting that one go.
Why, oh why do we hold on to things so tightly? Is it because we need them? Is it because without them our lives would cease to exist? Are these things a part of who we are? Usually, the answer to all of these questions is no. No, I don't need a lot of the things I hold on to. Yes, my life will still continue if I give up many things it. No, these things should not be a part of who I am.
Yet, while I sit and think about my answers to these questions, the blood flow to my knuckles seems to be growing thinner and the joints on my hand appear to take on more and more of the white color. I don't understand it. These things seem so irrelevant to my everyday life. I can logically conclude that I really don't need them, yet I continue to hold on. Death Grip. No one can take them away. The only way I am getting rid of these things is to let them go. Conscious decision--release the grip and things go away. It seems so simple.
I am female so I can really only see things from one perspective. I'm sure both sexes are guilty of the white knuckles, but I am only aware of and understand those things which plague us--the humans having the two X chromosomes. Why is it that we feel the need to hold on to relationships that are obviously getting us nowhere? What holds us in the pit of having a negative self image? Why do we binge and purge? What makes us have to constantly measure up to the next girl on the sidewalk or in the classroom? Who decided that expensive jeans, lots of makeup, and perfect hair are they ways in which we "look good"? Why is it easier to berate one another than to accept each other as individuals and show love? When did it become acceptable to use our bodies in order to promote lusting males? Why do we love that attention? What draws us to hold on to the struggles we battle? How have these things crept in?
I am just as guilty as the next, and this is speaking to me just as much as the next person. I do not think God wants us to hold on to these things so tightly that they become a part of who we are. I do not think he wants our baggage to become the thing that holds us back. I do, however, think God wants us to have white knuckles, as long as we are gripped onto the correct thing, which, if you hadn't already guessed it, is Christ. Jesus Christ is the absolute best thing we can hope to get our hands on. To be like him, to be obsessed with him, to focus constantly on how we can have more of him in our lives is an ok, in fact, an absolutely great thing to be centered on.
The thing is, we only have two hands. We can only have that death grip on one, maybe two things at most. So, in order to Grab on to Jesus, we gotta let go of something.
What needs to be let go?
What happens when let go and Jesus fills that space in our grip?
What does it take to reach the point of letting go?