Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. Hebrews 12:1
Today was another rough morning. I had all the best of intentions. I had taken a few motherly precautions, like laying school clothes out the night before and giving a nightly pep talk to my kindergartner, to make sure I didn’t end up “raising my voice” (“yelling”) at her, in order for us to get out the door on time. But all morning, and practically every morning, there seems to be one thing that stands between my daughter and me being on good terms. It’s like the silent, but ever-present enemy.
Sometimes I ignore it and try to work around it. Other times, I try to reason with my daughter and explain to her that she is all grown up now. At one point, in my (righteous) anger, I stormed outside and trashed this nuisance of a thing in the dumpster. While cruel, I thought it would probably be best for her (and me) in the long run. And for a few days, life was functional. She was able to use both of her hands to tie her shoes. She could pick up her toys quicker because she had two hands to work with. She could put her coat on by herself with no assistance from me. She was able to do more, in a shorter amount of time. She seemed to be more focused because there was no preoccupation with what she was holding onto. But no sooner did the week pass, than something ELSE had taken up residence with my daughter and she refused to let go of it unless I lost my temper again, and then she’d drop it long enough for me to stop looking so she could pick it right back up again.
The second time around, my daughter’s “security blanket” had taken the form of an infant towel. When it gets mysteriously misplaced, she runs around saying “Where’s my blankie? Where’s my blankie?” in absolute terror, but in all actuality, it isn’t a blankie at all. It’s just something that she holds onto almost ALL the time. Something that makes her feel good. Something familiar.
This morning, I angrily yanked the towel…blankie, whatever, away from her and with gritted teeth, said something along these lines, “You are a big girl now. This will no longer be a part of your childhood.” But after I said it, I realized it didn’t really make that much sense at all and I instantly felt like the wicked witch of the west. She’s a big girl? But she’s still a child? Stuck in childhood? Anyway, she cried one of those really pitiful, heart wrenching cries, and I apologized to her on the way to school. Partly because I was very sorry and partly because I didn’t want her to tell the teacher.
On my way home, God started laughing and told me that this is what He goes through with me EVERY SINGLE DAY. I heard Him say that I’m holding onto something, some things as a matter of fact–and that I just won’t let them go. And that if I do ever let them go, I just pick them right back up again. He showed me that the picture of my daughter trying to tie her shoes with one hand and hold onto the blanket with her other hand, is exactly how I look when I’m trying to do His work while refusing to “lay aside every weight.” Then He stopped laughing, got eye level with me and said, “You are a big girl now. Why in the world are you still stuck in your childhood?”
God doesn’t want us to keep holding onto things that just give us a false sense of security. He would rather us lay them down at our own will. He doesn’t want to start snatching things away from us. But, “Oh God, please don’t take my blankie away. I need it. I really need it. I know I’m not fully functioning now in your will, but I need my blankie to function.”
Last night in choir rehearsal, the choir members and I talked about not becoming too dependent on the band, or a fellow choir member who sings better, easy song selections or all of those “blankies” that slowly start to rob us of our true freedom to sing. We agreed to try and lay it all down.
So what’s your security blanket? Your job. A faithful spouse? A well behaved child. Perfect church attendance? What you wear. Your personality? The ability to perform. A successful business? Your retirement fund. Lust? Fear of losing. A clean house? A well-manicured lawn. Financial success?
I think I understand how my daughter feels now. Somewhere inside, I know it would be best if I laid my blankie down. But I just feel so attached. I really don’t know how to let it go. I’m so scared that if I don’t let it go, one day God’s gonna snatch that thing right from me, in His TRULY righteous anger as my Father. I know things would get easier if I could actually use both hands to do His work, but I’ll be honest in saying that I still take my blankie with me EVERYWHERE I go.
What about you?