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I cannot even count how many times I say, “Hold on,” to the kids each day. Of course, it’s because they all need me at the exact same time, when I’m right in the middle of something. Sound familiar? So to buy some time, I just holler out, “Hold on!” Some moms say, “Just a second,” or “Wait a minute,” or “Gimme a stinkin’ break,” but we all say some form of that on a regular basis, I’m certain.
“Hold on” means more to me than just two words that buy me some time. To hold on means to grasp, clutch, grip, cling on to, and embrace. There are many things that we hold on to. Some are good. Some not so much.
Many of us cling to fear (insert raised hand). In our Esther Bible Study last week, Beth Moore reminded us that “each time we are in a tight fist of fear, we should remember that we are in something much tighter. Isaiah 49:16 says, ‘See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.’” ENGRAVED on His palms…that’s tight. I just love to embrace that thought. God loves us because of who He is, not because of anything we have done or not done.
Oh and how so many of us hold on to our burdens, right? With a death grip, no less.
laughed as she said we should just throw up our hands and let the Lord take the
weight, the heavy burden, and relish in some quick weight loss! Sounds good to me! Moore
There are many words of wisdom that I want to hold on to and a recent few are from Matthew Kelly’s “The Best Way to Live” CD. In this particular CD, he addresses a group of high school students preparing for the sacrament of Confirmation, but the message he shares is for all ages. He encourages us to ask ourselves the big question, “How is the best way to live?”
Kelly suggests that our culture is obsessed with three “isms:” (1) Individualism – What’s in it for me? (2) Hedonism – If it feels good, do it. (3) Minimalism – What is the least I can do?
Kelly encourages us to think deeper and dig deeper than the “isms.” He says that “the human heart is on a quest for happiness.” We yearn for it and that’s normally why we do the things we do. Kelly describes that living by a pleasure principle is not the same as living by a happiness principle. He says that true “happiness can be sustained beyond the activity producing it.” (Unlike pleasure)
Kelly also invites us to really hold on to the relationships, friends, activities, books, movies, and music that help us to become the best version of ourselves. We should hold on to and cherish the people who draw out our best version – coaches, teachers, parents, mentors, friends, family, and co-workers. If we think back, our happiest moments in which we felt fully alive were probably those in which we chose to be the best version of ourselves.
Kelly suggests that many times we create so much noise in our lives that we cannot hear the voice of God, the voice of conscience. He challenges us to just do the next right thing. If we make a habit out of doing the next right thing, then we will soon be on a wonderful path to experience true happiness.
As he related the following idea, it really sunk in. He said, “What will anybody 2,000 years from now be doing because YOU lived?” Isn’t that some good food for thought?! We are still talking about Jesus and the disciples…
Kelly also suggested that the question we need to ask is, “God, what do YOU think I should do?” Kelly said our time is…now. We needn’t wait for the perfect time. When we think, “I’m too young to make a difference, “ or “I’m too old to do something great,” we are forgetting about some wonderful people who have done some wonderful things. Some examples he shared were:
Mozart wrote his first symphony at age 8; Anne Frank started her diary at age 13; Ralph Waldo Emerson enrolled at Harvard at age 14; Paul McCartney was asked by John Lennon to join a band at age 15; At age 19, Bill Gates co-founded Microsoft; William Shakespeare wrote Romeo & Juliet at age 31; Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence at age 33; Blessed Mother Teresa began her work in Calcutta at age 40; Michelangelo designed the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica at 74; At age 79, Ben Franklin invented bifocals; Dimitri Yordanidis completed the Athens Marathon at age 98; and Teiichi Igarashi climbed Mt. Fuji at age 100.
We have no excuses now, right? We aren’t too young and we aren’t too old. It is said that there are five things we can’t get back: (1) The stone after it’s thrown. (2) The word after it’s said. (3) The occasion after it’s missed. (4) The time after it’s gone. (5) A person after they die.
We don’t want to fear and we don’t want to regret. We can find happiness, peace, and contentment in Jesus. In the words of author, Ray C. Stedman, he says, “In the eyes of the world, it is not our relationship with Jesus Christ that counts; it is our resemblance to Him.” Wow. That’s an interesting and thought-provoking statement if I’ve ever heard one and it’s definitely one to hold on to.
On the flip-side of holding on, there is “letting go” and my sweet friend, Kim W. inspired me again. The story took place as Kim was headed to her sister’s couple’s shower in preparation for their upcoming wedding. Kim LOVES photography. LOVES. So, an accessory that she never leaves behind is her fabulous picture-takin’ camera. I mean, she takes gorgeous photos and THEN actually makes photo books out of them to give as gifts or keep as keepsakes. Her plan was to make a beautiful hardcover book full of memories of the event to give as a surprise gift to her sis.
So, on the way to the event, she grabbed her camera, but left her battery charger and extra batteries on the counter. That wouldn’t have been such a big deal if the batteries in her camera were actually charged. However, it was too late to go back home. Kim had a choice. She could let her anger stew and allow it to ruin the entire evening or she could let go and enjoy the precious, present moment.
Kim said that it is in her nature to let the anger simmer when things go awry. She had every right to be upset. Her original plan was not working out. Most of us can’t stand when things don’t go as planned, right? How was Kim going to make the gift that she longed to give to her sister?
WELL! Kim said she decided to let it go. She made a choice to hand it over to God and let Him take control. She decided she would just try the camera throughout the evening to see if there was a little battery juice left. She said she planned to turn the camera off and on as needed in order to take a picture here and there as the camera would allow.
Drum roll….her camera worked all night long.
Tell me God doesn’t listen! I just won’t believe you. hee hee (I cried when she told me her story…just ask her!) AND, I saw the finished book…it is PERFECT!
In closing, let’s hold on tight to the right stuff and learn to let go of the stuff that just