Let It Go
To be quite confessional, Lent is not an easy season for me because looking into the darkness of my soul is not always my cup of tea. It can be downright frightening. Yet here is Lent, inviting me to die to so many things that are often hard to let go of. However, there is something in my spirit that tells me death to self is necessary in order to live for God. A crucifixion of ego is required. John of The Cross says it this way, “Empty your soul and seek to be filled with the attitude of Christ, which is a sure wellspring – unending and brimming with life eternal.”
But again, letting go can be so hard. If I empty myself completely, what will takes its place? Emptiness leaves me vulnerable, so how I can faithfully and honestly kneel before God as an empty vessel before a full fountain, if I am afraid and my heart is burdened, weighed down with so many things that separate me from God and the whole creation? The precise theological term for it is sin. Lord forgive me. I am a sinful man. Lord I’m stuck and I don’t know how to get unstuck.
Well, maybe, it does begin with a contrite heart that courageously cries out with David in Psalm 51, as he holds no punches and goes deep into his soul, confessing all his sin, seeking cleansing and pardon. “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy, blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin…. Purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean…create in me a clean heart, O God, and put a new and right spirit within me.”
I can almost hear God saying, “Let it go child, let it go.” If we are to let it go, we first must confess it and receive God’s pardon. Lent is the perfect time to confess to God that we are stuck in old habits and sin. We hang on to those things we must let go of.
Throughout these 40 days of Lent, we will discover that Jesus empties himself completely to the will of God, even to death on a cross. Because of the self-emptying of Jesus, we have the power to travel through the wilderness of Lent, letting go of those things that separate us from God and one another. We have the power to look deep into our souls without fear. We have the power to die to self that we might live in Christ.
People always talk about giving up something for Lent. They give up chocolate or bubble gum or television. I’m suggesting that we look into our souls and give up something more significant than that. I’m suggesting that we give up whatever it is that has a hold on us and keeps us from joyfully and abundantly following Jesus Christ. Give it up for Lent. Let it go child, let it go.
Lord, I journey on this wilderness path
searching for the place to face this test,
discovering rest for my soul.
I’ve held on too long, afraid to let go of
deep old wounds that keep the sounds
of redemption from taking hold.
My hearts does long to know the joy of
letting go with nothing between us, only
pardon in confessions that are bold.
By Leonard E. Fairley
Journeying with Christ,
If you would like to print or share this edition of “Fair” for the Journey, you are encouraged to use this pdf: Let It Go – 02.09.2016