“Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal. (MESSAGE)
Jesus’ message seems to be that we win by losing, that we live by dying, that we take hold by letting go. If following him and entrusting ourselves to him seems hard, it sure beats the alternative. Life lived independently of him does not lead to real life.
But there is a wider dimension to this. Unless we are willing to venture into a new season of life, our life will shrink. If I try to perpetuate a thrill, an experience, a ministry, I may risk missing out some new thrill, some new experience, some new ministry. If I do not let some elements of my past die, my future is clouded.
There is nothing at all wrong with cherishing memories and being thankful for what has happened in our lives. And there are situations where we rightly continue just as we are: impatient restlessness can be just as dangerous as anxious clinging. But my wonderful experience of a certain time and place cannot be repeated. Each experience is unique. I change, things change.
And so, I anticipate new times, new places, new people, without forgetting what has passed. My enjoyable visits to the past must not evolve into taking up residence in those histories. Visiting the past with thankfulness can enrich our lives now. Clinging to the past can impoverish our lives now. Letting go of one dream may open us to a new dream. But always remember that our God has promised to save us, not each and every one of our dreams.