Word of the Week

Good morning! Today I'm wondering could you name something that you've believed your whole life? Is there a practice you've done "for as long as you can remember?" Is there a something that you've always counted upon to be just so?

To answer yes to any or all of these questions is common to all our experiences of being human. We crave stability! We like knowing what we know. Even if our world is always changing . . .

But, lately I've been asking myself this question, "Is there is anything in my life that I need to loosen?"

Loosen, our word for this week which means to make less tight, to relax.

Or more specifically, is there a conviction, a practice, or are their expectations in a relationship that I need to let go?

It's a scary proposition, though. So many of us fear "loosening" anything that will shake the foundation of what makes us, us. I can't tell you how many rooms I've entered when someone knows I'm a pastor and simultaneously my convictions are checked at the door. "What kind am I?" someone wants to know. In situations like this, the goal seems to be finding out how tight I hold certain convictions. Loosening is not seen as a good thing.

Yet, could loosening be a beautiful spiritual practice?

Please know I'm not talking about messing with what is foundational for your life, or is a part of the core of who you are. We all have things about us that simply never change. And that's great!

Rather, I'm advocating for some simple purging. Releasing who you no longer need (as much). Asking of your life's activities and values: is it mine?

(Or, am I doing/ believing/ carrying on this simply just because it's what I've always done? Or is it what I really believe/ think/ want to do?)

Loosening often looks like starting with some basic questions. And being still enough to hear the answers.

In the biggest picture, maybe your retirement plans become busier than you ever thought (or quieter).

Maybe your friendships that served you well in high school or college are a weight to give up in the now.

Maybe your children need more freedom to be without your input.

Maybe your feelings about God are shifting and going with the flow is good.

Whatever it may be, I know that loosening your grip might feel painful at first or even awkward, but that the freedom waiting for you on the other side will be worth it.

Who knows? Delightful joy might be the reward of your loosening. Joy your Creator deeply wants you to know.