Archive for September, 2010

Clenched Fists

I've never been in an actual fistfight.  My younger brother and I would wrestle and try and throw each other off of the trampoline, but actually hitting each other with our fists seemed outside the bounds of our gentleman's agreement.  I've hit a punching bag before and I can also think of a few times where I punched a wall or some other object to release whatever tension had built up inside of me.  So I have no idea what it feels like to clench your fists in preparation for a throwdown.  

All of that has been on my mind recently as God is undoing some stuff in me that has been misplaced.  I swear the thing that God has been repeating for the past few months is "Open Your Hands Chris."  At first, there were moments and small decisions but lately I have been aware of how much of my life is held so tightly.  It's probably no surprise to say that I like a certain amount of control in my life.  I like to make decisions and be in charge and hold tightly to the reins of whatever project or task I am leading.  And that's not necessarily a bad thing.

However, what God has been showing me lately is that some things will be more successful if I will let go of them a little.  Totally counterintuitive.  This is essentially the message that gets preached during any sermon on tithing. As we loosen the grip on our money, we are able to hold on to more important things.  For whatever reason, when it comes to money I am not nearly as controlling as other areas of my life.  But it's the same dilemma – am I willing to let go and give up control and believe that God will do a better job than I can?

Of course when it is phrased that way the choice seems clear.  But when the choice comes in the form of everyday life events, it's not quite so cut and dry.  This morning the dam might have broken.  I was preparing for MIDWEEK (wednesday night bible study) and I was reading and re-reading James 2.  "Faith without works is dead."  Does my faith and belief that I am utterly dependent on Jesus Christ match up with the way that I actually live each day?  When is the last time that I chose faith over my abilities?  I've been turning this question over and over in my head all day long.

The problem is that it is so hard to unclench your fists once they are wrapped around something.  It's so hard to forgive.  It's so hard to get vulnerable.  It's so hard to be as trusting as you know you should be.  It's hard to be optimistic rather than cynical.  But I know that I should live with open hands – ready to give to God and ready to receive from God.  I'm letting go – one finger at a time.

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