It’s a new year, so let it go!
It’s been lovely seeing both the personal, and generic messages, from friends and family, wishing everyone a Happy New Year.
So, Happy New Year from the BerryBunch!
But, as you’d expect from me, I had a thought that was less to do with the upcoming 12 months, and more to do with the last 12 instead.
It’s great to have goals, dreams and ambitions. But, I was struck by the sadness, and emptiness, of one post that basically said they hoped we all got what we wanted in the coming year.
As a child I didn’t know what I wanted. As an adult, I can say even more clearly, that I definitely don’t know what I want.
As I progress deeper in my relationship with Jesus, I’ve come to realise – ever more – that I need MUCH MORE of HIM. And MUCH LESS of Me!
So, I have no clue what I want, but I know that God knows what my needs are. I don’t want what I want, because I don’t know what I want. What I need, though, is more of Jesus in me, flowing through me, and pouring out of me to the people I meet.
As the vast majority are looking ahead, I’m struck by the wonderful visual of boxes piling up around our own home.
Because, it strikes me, that those boxes are rather important. We’ve already got rid of some things that we no longer need, or are broken and so on. But we’ve not got rid of much because, having moved house far more than we’d ever have wished to, we’ve also got very good at not keeping things we don’t need.
It isn’t that we’re somehow superior – it’s just that when you do something frequently enough, you get better at it.
Let me put this another way.
Jo and I, and our 2 younger boys, once lived in a caravan. We weren’t caravanners, by any stretch of the imagination. But, it was the best solution to us selling our home, and being sufficiently mobile so that we could work out where we wanted to live and set up our shop.
And we moved every 2 weeks. Like clockwork.
Now if you’ve ever tried putting up a brand new, or perhaps just unfamiliar tent, or awning on a caravan you’ll know the struggle of doing so. If you’ve never done that, then you can enjoy the joy of Jo and I sitting in our own awning, with a cup of tea, watching the many people who used their awning, perhaps once or twice a year, having a big shouting match about where that particular pole should be shoved instead. I’ll leave that to your imagination!
But, you see, Jo and I didn’t have that particular problem. We moved our caravan every two weeks, for more than 6 months, so during the first month we rapidly became extremely well versed, and experienced, at knowing exactly how to put that awning up, or down (it was about 20 feet by 8 feet long) in as short a time as possible. Usually, it would take us just a few minutes.
People would watch with their mouths open as we got it sorted so easily and rapidly. And there were no threats of violence while we were doing it! Because, we were well practiced at doing it; because we weren’t remembering how to do it from a year ago – we were remembering how to do it having taken it down just an hour or two earlier.
Which brings me back to the point of this post – baggage.
You see, we all have baggage. And there are points in our life when we deal with it – usually centred around a spiritual experience in a church, or at a Christian conference.
But, as Christians, we are supposed to die to self on a daily basis.
We are supposed to renew our mind frequently.
And, much like that awning on our caravan, we can be well experienced at doing that or not.
We don’t like how many times we have moved. But, we have moved many items and we have become quite expert at it. Again, it isn’t because we’re somehow superior to others, it’s just practice and lots of opportunities to learn how to do it as easily, and stress free, as possible – with as minimal effort used as possible.
And as we enter 2022, we have a physical reminder of the need to not carry with us anything we don’t need. Because, we literally have to box it, move it, load it into a van, unload it, move it, unbox it.
That makes us especially adept at not holding onto clutter and baggage in our household.
Our experience of 2021 was dreadful. To put it bluntly, it was an utterly dreadful year, following several years which weren’t quite as dreadful, but were years we’d also rather not have gone as they did.
But we got through it! And God used those experiences to knock off all sorts of edges that we simply don’t need – He used our dreadful experiences to humble us, shape us and perfect us to be ever more like Jesus Christ.
So, what baggage are you holding onto?
As we look ahead to the New Year before us, let us all make sure we let go of our baggage. And, just like the many caravanners and campers we saw at the point of committing virtual murder because Pole A will never fit into Sleeve B, let us be well practiced at letting go of our past.
If we can do it more frequently, we’ll become less possessive of those things that God wants us to let go of, so we can become more like Jesus.
As you and I move into 2022, and dream dreams of what may be in the future, let’s make sure we also let go of the rubbish and baggage we will, otherwise, simply drag along behind us.
PS The BerryBunch.family Studio is currently packed away in boxes. But, don’t worry, we’ll be back with gusto, come February. We’ve loads more ideas and things planned.
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Written by Andy B