There are clothes lying doormat in my closet, ever hopeful that some day I will wear them. What they do not know is that they do not fit me anymore. I don’t even have to try them on to prove anything, I know just by looking at them.
So why am I holding on to these small items that are just wasting valuable space in my closet? Because I convince myself that someday I will loose enough weight and fit into them again. After all bodies change all the time. If I can gain weight, I can loose weight, so I keep telling myself. But we know that even with weight, it is easy to hold onto it than it is to let go of it.
I have told myself that if I hold on to these clothes I will be motivated to loose weight, but if I let go of them I will be admitting defeat, more like giving up, giving up on my dream (of loosing weight) and the memories (sentimental value I have to these clothes.)
Life is a balance of holding on and letting go. Ecclesiastes 3 v MSG talks about “a time to hold on and another to let go.” Whilst it is easy to hold on to things, letting go is a hard thing to do.
The book of Ruth is my favorite in the bible. The three women learnt a lot from each other during their time together, but there came a time when they had to go their separate ways. While I have learned a lot from the lives of Naomi and Ruth, I believe there is also something to learn from the life of Orpah. We do not talk much about Orpah, in a way we perceive her as a “bad girl” who abandoned her mother-in-law. I have heard a lot of teaching about how Orpah abandoned her destiny by changing her mind about following Naomi. Maybe Orpah was smart enough to realize that some people no matter how good they may be, come into our lives for a season. This is what I think, even if Orpah had followed Naomi to Bethlehem, between her and Ruth, one of them was going to marry Boaz, one of them was going to give birth to Obed and one of them was going to be in the lineage of Jesus Christ. The other one was going to end up feeling hurt, disappointed, rejected and bitter. This is what happens when we try to extend relationships that were meant for a season into a lifetime.
“People always come into your life for a reason, a season and a lifetime. When you figure out which it is, you know exactly what to do.” Unknown. Letting go is a hard thing to do. Whether it is letting go of clothes that do not fit, or letting go of people, anger, guilt or pain. Sometimes people have a hard time letting go of their pain, because pain is all they have known. They are used to walking through one pain and trial after another that they are afraid to be happy. Pain has become their comfort zone. Happiness and peace are frightening territories for them. They choose to hold on to their pain because they believe holding on makes them strong, without realising that greater strength is actually in letting go.
Sometimes we hold on to things because we are afraid of loosing them, but the reality is that you cannot loose things you let go of, you can only loose the things you hold on to.
There are people who come into our lives just to teach us something. A teacher is there in your life for a season, to teach you a lesson. Take a lesson with and leave the teacher behind.
I came across this beautiful quote that captured something so profound about relationships.“In life, you will realise there is a role for everyone you meet. Some will test you, some will use you, and some will love you, and some will teach you. But the ones who are truly important are the ones who bring out the best in you. Those are the rare and amazing people who remind you why it’s worth it.” Unknown