A Message from Chris D
The first challenge we face when maximizing the “Now” moment in our life resembles much of that which we find every time our means of transportation is flight. For me, every flight is an adventure: from the moment I zip up my luggage for the last time before leaving, until unzipping it upon arrival to my destination. We pack our bags as tight as possible to ensure we make the best of the room the luggage allows us to carry. For some reason, however, I always take too much with me. I’m the type of person that will take my favorite shirt, knowing I will never wear it on a trip, just because. Although, more than often once I get to the airport, my trip turns into a series of shedding. The first comes when I check in and find that one of my suitcases jump to a higher cost bracket because of the weight caused by items I know I will never need on this particular flight.
My natural instinct is to argue with the customer service attendant about their prices, which eventually ends with my decision to take the bag as a carry on to avoid cost. By now, because I just love waiting until the last minute to arrive to the airport, my flight is boarding and I have every bit of ten minutes to get to the terminal and board the plane. Just one more stop to make. It’s the stop we all love so much… I have to get through security at customs. Because of my procrastination getting to the airport, I complain about how long the lines are and consider jumping others in line multiple times. I finally get to security, place luggage on the ramp, taking off my shoes, watch, belt, and empty pockets. This is all done while the security clerk x-rays my bags only to find that the luggage I meant to check under the plane, but refused to because of cost, has multiple liquids and sharp objects that are prohibited on the plane as a carry-on.
With only five minutes left before my flight departs, I watch the guard unzip my bag, fumble through my personal items and pulls out toothpaste, and various colognes I have just purchased for a total on one hundred dollars. He then tells me that they cannot fly with me and ask if I want him to throw them away or check my bad under the plane. By now, if he attempts to check it under the plane, the possibility of losing my luggage is great due to not having enough time to get it to the plane. At this point, I began to talk about the airline in general to anyone who will listen, and how I’m an American and shouldn’t be treated like this. I then look at my clock and realize I only have 2 minutes to get to my plane. I tell him to throw away one hundred dollars worth of liquids, although I’m sure he kept them for himself, and proceed to the plane.
After running as fast as I can to the gate, I get there to realize my flight has left. By this point I am so overwhelmed with anger, about the cost to check bags in, wasting one hundred dollars, and now stuck having to keep up with this entire luggage until I am able to catch another flight. I finally break down and say “Jesus, it don’t take all this. Why are they making things so complicated?” He then responds, “You mean them doing their job, while you insist on bringing 5 pair of jeans and 6 shirts to a two day trip? Or maybe how they look out for the safety of all the passengers while you insist on bringing a razor for shaving when you just shaved before you left and your three bottles of cologne because you have something to prove? I agree completely. It’s beyond complicated.”
After sitting in silence for about the next 10 minutes, I begin to apologize to every clerk that would listen. It didn’t matter if they knew anything or not. My refusal to let go of the things that were not meant for the trip, cost me everything. In life, we find ourselves doing the same thing. How many things from your past you insist on picking up after God has said time after time to drop? Maybe it’s a person that you know consistently brings you down. Maybe it’s a habit that you know you need to live without. Or maybe it’s something like my favorite shirt. It can be something you love, never had any issues with, but God is saying let go.
If you are anything like me, your past has been very hard to get pass. It’s the reason why you have the plans you do now. You may have many dreams, but your past is so fresh in your mind that your dreams continue to suffer. You refuse to love because your childhood starved from it and you don’t know how. Maybe events the happened years ago distract you to the point of everything you do now is to prove you are not who the past attempted to create. Maybe it’s hard to trust or hold conversations with others in your life, and when you do it’s always about your hurt. The largest death to a dream is dwelling on the events that happened before you found rest. No vice, person, or memory should ever keep you from flying and reaching the location in God that has already been assigned for you.
The second you purchase a flight, an itinerary is emailed or printed off for your knowledge detailing everything there is to know about your travel plans. God has an itinerary already designed for you, but, he can’t use you until you let those things that are keeping you grounded go. I’m a firm believer that pity parties are fine as long as you know your destination never moves, yet waits for you to wipe your tears, get up and get going. Before we can talk about any area in your life, you have to let go of everything that has been holding it back and keeping you from making your flight. We must be ready and willing to focus completely on God. And the trap we often fall for is we simply focus on God to handle, or work on our past, or just believe Him to move in that area. I venture to tell you that focusing on God for your past is really focusing on the past. God can do and be so much more in your life.
Your first challenge is whether it’s good or bad, if God says let it go… Let it go. It doesn’t have to make sense right now. All God is saying is you don’t need it this trip. Pack smart and only take what is essential for the road ahead. The reality is by now; you know the very thing I’m referring to in your life. Will you miss your flight, or let it go? The obvious variables we all deal with consist of the very things we have dreamed about and prayed to receive for many years.
“Surely God doesn’t want to take that from me. This person is great! This is everything I hoped for.”
The reality is sometimes the things we love the most are the very first things that have to go. This was the case I ran into when packing for my trip. I refused to leave without my favorite shirt. But taking that shirt meant I had to take the one pair of pants that look great with them. While looking for the pants it reminded me of 5 other outfits that I look great in. I went from knowing what I was wearing, to being very indecisive. My love for my favorite shirt cost me the flight.
Maybe your “favorite shirt” is the job you been praying to get, or relationship that finally came. Maybe it’s a television show. In the past year I have found myself to be crazy about “Scandal”. Having the things you love is great, but do they take anything from you? Is the promotion calling for you to spend less time in your ministry? Is the relationship requiring you to do things you know God does not approve of? Is that particular show opening you up to things that should not be in your life? Some of the deadliest things we will encounter in life are found in the things we can’t consider living without. There is a very familiar story in the bible about a man whose walk championed the importance of faith for everyone that followed. His name is Abraham. Let his story of courage and faith to let go motivate you to do the same when it comes to the things you love that God requires you to let go and move forward without. The blessing is not always obvious or seen right away, but the reality is the blessing is always right there.
So whatever it is that may distract you over the course of reading this book and deter you from receiving everything God has to say… Let it go! When I was a child, I thought it would be funny to hold on to the back spoiler of my mother’s 1992 Blue Pontiac Sun Bird. What I didn’t expect was for her to drive away so quickly. Fear set in and my body locked up. My mind consistently said let it go, but my hands refused and I found myself trying to run down the street with a car climbing to thirty miles an hour. I eventually fell and scared my arms, my head, shoulders, and legs. The lesson I learn is that I understand our body and mind sometimes don’t see eye to eye. But, at all cost, we have to learn to let go. The only thing that comes from our refusal or inability to do so is the scares that hinder our ability to trust and hold on to future areas equipped and designed for our hands to hold.
The things you need to prove to yourself and those from your past and possibly around you right now that falls outside the will God has for your life… Let it go!
Chasing a dream that is not yours just because someone said you couldn’t do it, and you are willing to live a life you hate to show them you can… Let it go!
What God has for you is so much greater! Trust God, his plan, and his decision… and LET IT GO!