By the time I arrive home in the afternoons, the dogs are ready to play. They love fetch. When I throw the ball, Mamie races after it, grabs it in her mouth, and brings it back to me to throw again.
Maggie, however, has a little problem she hasn't been willing to overcome. She races after the ball, grabs it in her mouth, lies down, and covers it with both her front paws. If I try to retrieve it from her mouth, she growls. I don't think she'd bite me, but I've never tried to snatch the ball.
Mamie and I can play fetch until she's too tired to run anymore because she's willing to let the ball go. Maggie, however, plays a one-toss game of fetch because she refuses that most basic part of the game: releasing the ball.
Maggie's been taught the command, "drop it." She's pretty good at it, until it involves something she really wants, like the ball. Then, obedience goes out the window.
What she never seems to understand is that her insistence upon holding tight to her ball stops play time. It stops our time together. It stops the fun.
I'm afraid we're a little like Maggie, holding on so tight we can't let go to enjoy all God has for us. It's a more common problem than we might think. We hold to the life we have, unwilling to let go of anything, yet God stands ready to lead us through untold adventure.
We miss the amazing and incredible when we hold to the routine and comfortable.
There were probably days when Moses wished he'd stayed with the sheep in the wilderness, instead of dealing with the grumblers in the desert, but, when the manna fell, letting go of the wilderness was worth it. When water flowed from the rock, it was worth it.
Elijah probably wished he'd stayed in Tishbe instead of going head to head with an evil government. When the fire fell on the altar, consumed the offering, and dried up all the water, however, dealing with Jezebel was worth it. When the still, small voice spoke, everything else was worth it.
God routinely calls us out of our comfort zones and into adventure. We miss the best, though, because we hold so tight to the good.
Why not let go and see what God will do? Why not loosen our hold on the good and follow Him into the amazing and incredible God longs for us to have. When Jesus offers "abundant life," He doesn't intend us to have a routine, boring existence. He offers us more adventure than we can imagine, and it's worth all we have to release to embrace it.
Today, let's ask God what He wants for us, then let go of that to which we cling to embrace what He wants for us. In case you're wondering, it'll be worth it.
"The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life." John 10:10 nlt
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