In One Month to Live, Kerry Shook writes about a time when his son Josh was 4 or 5 years old. They were at a park, and Josh asked Kerry to lift him up so he could hang on the monkey bars. Josh extended his arms, Kerry picked him up, and Josh grabbed one of the bars. He was hanging there excited and happy, and then after a while he said, "OK, now get me down."
Kerry didn't get him down. Instead he said, "Just let go and I'll catch you." But Josh was afraid to let go. He held on for dear life. His knuckles turned white and his face turned red. "Daddy, get me down!" But Kerry was firm: "Let go and I'll catch you. I love you, Josh. I won't drop you." He wanted to teach his son a lesson about trust.
Finally, Josh did let go, and as promised, Kerry caught him. Josh smiled and ran off to play on the swings. And suddenly it struck Kerry that God had a message for him:
This is exactly the way you relate to Me. You hold on desperately, trying to do things in your own strength. You struggle endlessly, trying to control everything, trying to make things just right, trying to please people, trying to control every situation ... While you're hanging there and your knuckles are turning white, I'm saying, "Just let go and I'll catch you. Just let go. I promise you, I love you, and I'll catch you."-- One Month to Live, p. 42
In order to live passionately, we have to let go. Let go of control. Let go of the comfortable and predictable. Let go of what we think is safe. After all, you can't hold on to the monkey bars forever. Sooner or later you're going to drop. Wouldn't it be better to let go sooner, and fall, not to the ground, but into the arms of a God who loves you?
Today's Scripture challenges our natural desire to hold on. Our tendency is to cling tightly to whatever we've got, whether it's time, talent, money, energy, or even our faith. We forget that God has given us these things for a purpose. And, "from everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded." In other words, God did not give us these blessings just to hold onto. God gave us these blessings to be used. To be shared. To be invested in living passionately.
And remember: investing always includes risk.
God has big dreams for us. But to go after them will involve taking a risk. You have to let go of what you think is safe -- and trust God to catch you.
Identify one risk that God is calling you to take in your life right now. Think through your fears. Think about what you might gain if you take the risk. Think about what you will lose if you don't. Ask God to help you trust Him and let go. Then make a plan for taking this step of faith.