Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The weight of the past

A teacher once asked her class to guess the weight of the water in a glass she had filled half full and held in her hand. The students attempted several guesses. Eventually the teacher said that the weight of the water really didn't matter so much as the length of time she held it.

"If I hold this for just 10 minutes, it's not heavy. If I hold it for an hour or two, it's a lot heavier. If I hold this all day long, my arm will be sore—perhaps it'll even go numb," said the teacher. The length of time you hold the glass matters more than the actual weight of the water in the glass, she reiterated to the students.

The pastor who told this story last Sunday used it to illustrate his point that the same is true for all the old baggage we carry around with us. Old hurts and resentments. Unforgiven comments or actions. Old beliefs and messages that no longer work. They didn't seem so heavy at first, did they? But after we carry them around for a few years—unresolved, unforgiven and unforgotten—they get heavier and heavier.

It was yet another image for me to remind me to let go, let go, let go. It's no good dragging things from the past around with us forever. It holds us back. It prevents our joy. It keeps our hearts closed and sealed off from the love that we could let in and that could be let out to others, too. What do you need to let go? What's heavy for you today?

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