Once I found a yellow moth on the front porch of my grandparent’s home. I was perhaps 8 yrs old and it happened as I stepped out through my front door into the glass-enclosed vestibule, nearly like a greenhouse, where we left our boots in the winter. The moth was desperately trying to find its way off the porch. Several times I had found a bee or a moth trapped on the porch, and I always caught it and let it go. But this moth was a color I had never seen before – yellow, a deep yellow. I caught the moth, held it in my hands. What does a boy do with a yellow moth? I found a shoe box, filled it with grass and a soda cap of water and placed my moth in the box. It died the next day, of course. Things cannot be held too long – they need to be set free. I threw the shoe box and its contents into the garbage can and I buried the moth in the flower bed.
Even today as I reflect on 2015, I feel as though I am always being pulled between wanting to hold on to things and wanting to let them go. This week is a good time to review, reflect, and get God’s revelation for the past and the future. As we move forward, there are always things that we need to release – let go of. Room needs to be made for the new things God is going to bring into our lives in the new year.
I remember the afternoon Bobby, my eldest son, learned to ride his bicycle alone for the first time. We began in early November, Bobby and I. We were living in Singapore. I took off his training wheels but he insisted I hold on to the handlebar and the seat as we walked around our apartment complex. “I’ll just let go for a second, Bobby.” “No!” he screamed. Perhaps Bobby will be a lawyer someday, or a professional baseball player, or a scientist and he will make a famous discovery. I prayed for him and thought about these things as we wiggled and rattled our way around the parking lot. It didn’t take long for him to understand how to turn the pedals with his feet. As I held on to the bicycle, Bobby’s head and black hair were just to the right of my cheek. After a few days, Bobby was comfortable enough with my letting the handlebar go, but I still had to hold on to the rear of the seat. “Don’t let go, Dad!” Thanksgiving passed. The rainy season began. We spent less and less time practicing. Wind. Rain. I put Bobby’s bike away under the stairs. Christmas, then New Year’s and then a sudden dry spell. After breakfast, I found Bobby behind the stairs trying to get out his bike. I helped him get it outside and I pushed him across the parking lot of our apartment complex. I gave a slight shove and he shouted, “Let go Dad!” and Bobby wobbled, shook, laughed and pedaled off as I stood alone watching and shouting encouragement. I wanted to run to Bobby, hold the seat of his bike, hold on to his handlebar, and have his dark hair brush against my cheek. Instead I restrained myself and kept shouting, “Keep pedaling Bobby, Keep pedaling!”
I find as I age, that to “let go” in Jesus, is to fear less and love more. So as I am asking myself, and I ask you… What is it that you need to let go of from this past year? Perhaps it is letting go of a rebellious child, or a burden of sorrow, losing a loved one, a key employee, or learning to live with a heartache which we just cannot let go of. Jesus knows this. And we know that He want us to give Him those burdens, those fears. Please…give that thing, that person, that idea to Jesus now. Letting go of your load will release a peace within you which will allow your spirit to soar – to be free. And in that freedom He will begin a fresh work within you, which is where the real need is anyway.
There is no use holding on to the yellow moth or your child or that employee. They will do just fine on their own. Just set them free. Keep pedaling, Bobby, keep pedaling.