Sometimes, when I get to the front door, I realize my keys are buried underneath my phone, several receipts, and an assortment of whatever I’m carrying in my pockets that the kids have decided I need to hold onto for them. Not a big deal, right?
But when my hands are full, with my computer bag, the mail, my coat, a stack of files, the book I’ve been reading, and, well, whatever, it’s hard to get to my keys.
To get to my keys, I have to put something down. (Or risk stand stupidly on the steps with a computer bag hanging from around my neck, several things in my teeth, and assortment of stuff that I’ve dropped lying on the ground.)
I have to admit: I’m not very good at putting something down.
And yet, when it comes to things of cosmic, eternal importance, I need to empty my hands.
In Matthew 16:24-26 (NIV), Jesus says to his disciples,
“Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?‘
I wonder what you need to let go of, whether it’s physical (like work) or emotional (like your hurt or your anger) or spiritual (like trust, doubt, or skepticism). What do you need to let go of so that you can take up the cross? Sometimes, it seems like picking up the cross is so hard. But I don’t think it’s the picking up that gets us.
I think we don’t know how to let go, to put something down.