Hold things loosely
The first time I caught a baby I was so terrified that I was going to drop the wet, squiggly- beautiful little miracle- on the delivery floor. But soon I learned that as long as you get a grip on the head and the body and towel the baby off, it can not fall from out of your arms. Even when a baby is coming out of the birth canal, you have to hold the head loosely enough to let the body wiggle itself, rotate and descend on it's own so the shoulders and legs can get out.
You know honestly, I think in life-- we humans want to hold onto things tightly. We want to pretend that if we squeeze something, or hold it so secure- it can't break, it can't change, we can't lose it. We want the security of having something close to us; we want to feel safe with things just the way we want them. Yet almost everything we have on this life, are things that are temporary, earthly, malleable, breakable. They are things that will fade, pleasures that will pass- no matter how much we try to fight it. For all of these things friends, we would be better off if we could learn to "hold things loosely".
For often, we try to hold on to our possessions- only to lose them. We try to hold onto a relationship- only to watch a person change in a way we didn't want them too. We try to hold onto our money just to see it disappear in a sudden calamity or be wasted by another. When will we learn as Ecclesiastes says, "everything is meaningless" and "everything will fade in time." When will we learn only our relationship with God will never fail. He is the only person we can hold onto tightly.
This is so hard-- because lately I've been beginning to understand how stubborn my heart is. How much I want things. How much I value security- in relationships back home, through communication on my cell phone to an "easier world", in jobs, in money, in knowing I can go back to America and have match lattes- and drink Starbucks. It's funny how many things my heart wants to hold onto, things I want to claim are mine or that I deserve. Entitlement is such a strong word.
Yet when I question my priorities and question the way I live and my expectations of life, I have to ask myself "What are you holding onto so tightly your not surrendering it to God?"
What dream or hope do you have that you are afraid to give up?
What materials mean so much to you that that you can't live without them?
What relationship are you afraid to surrender?
There's a verse in Ecclesiastes 4:6 that says "Better is one handful with tranquility then two handfuls with toil and striving after wind." I feel like this verse teaches us about gratitude and the dangers of greediness. We have to trust that God loves us, God knows our heart and our desires and that He wants the best for us. So if we trust in Him, we will learn to live with one hand open accepting His blessings and rejoicing in them with another hand that understands God is going to give and take away things in our life.
The Bible says that every good and perfect gift comes from above, from the Father, and if we believe this then we have to give God access to every door, every person in our life, everything we own in life. We have to stop gripping things with our own hands so tightly and we have to tell God "You can have it all." "You can have this friendship, to take or leave or grow." "You can have my money to invest as you guide me." "You can have this dream of mine. I entrust you'll help me at the right time."
And I think that if we could learn to live in this way- we would not only experience so much more faith and growth- but we would experience more peace in our life. Living with loose hands would take away the stress of having to try so hard, and to protect the things we believe are "mine". Living with our hands open instead of closed would be so freeing, but it would also be an opening for God to start pouring down more blessings in our lives. I think to learn to live with our hands looser on our materials and things of this earth is a goal of mine.