I had a dream the other night. In this dream I was going somewhere and it seemed to be a long way away. I was tired and had been walking a long time and for whatever reason, I was carrying a heavy backpack. Seemed heavy enough to be filled with rocks but I don’t know what was in it because I never stopped to look. In the dream, I felt a sense of urgency. Stopping to look in the backpack would only slow me down. So I never looked. I just kept on trudging along.
A little further on in this dream, I was still walking, still in a hurry, only this time I had on my back a blue kid’s wading pool. We have one like that in our backyard. It is a carry over from when we bred dogs. The pool was the nursery for the pups and their mother. I kept it because I might someday breed my dog again. It sits in the backyard and is pretty useless other than for puppies because it is cracked and won’t even hold water. I have no desire to breed dogs again, but there it sits.
In the dream, I am worn out and exhausted and pushing to get somewhere with this awkward pool on my back. After what seems like a very long time of this, I wake up.
I am no expert on dreams but this is my take on that dream. I think the backpack represents my past and is full of things I carry along with me – baggage I would be better off without – regrets, hurts, wounds, broken relationships, missed opportunities, etc. We all have that and it is hard to stop and take a look at what is there and let it go. Painful even. But in my dream it was obvious that my progress to whatever destination I was headed was drastically impeded by the weight of objects in that backpack.
I can’t change the past. I can forgive others and myself and I can let go. I can quit beating myself up over past mistakes; I can release others from their past mistakes as well. I can lighten that load and move on but only by God’s grace. I can’t do that on my own; I know, I have tried. So once again I lay my backpack at the foot of the cross and ask for the grace to leave it there.
The pool represents the future – the things I hang onto because I might one day… Letting go of my fears about the future is a little bit harder. The future is so unknown and I like knowing where I am going. I am not getting younger and the questions about my future sometime scream pretty loud at me. Unlike God, I can’t see the end from the beginning.
What I can do, however, is learn to rest in the provision of God and take my concerns about the future to Him. Day by day, hour by hour or even minute by minute if need be.
I can trust in His word that tells me my future is in His hands. I don’t know the date my healing will manifest, only that it will, until then I have this moment. I can be here now or I can give away this moment by reliving the past or fretting about the future, neither of which I can change.
If I practice these things, letting go of the past and laying down my future, then I can more easily enter this present moment which is really all I have and even that is not mine, it belongs to God. I have come to believe that living in this present moment, recognizing the gifts and the wonder and the grace that abound in this present moment and giving myself to it in faith is not only a sacrifice but an act of worship; an act of recognizing God for all that He is and receiving of His grace to cover my past and provide for my future so I can just be here now. Even if what I am going through is difficult or painful. It’s not easy and sometimes I forget, but as I purpose to be here now and remember to let go, I hope and pray it becomes my reality.
What about you? Are you carrying around extra weight, weight you would be better off without? Could you just leave it with Jesus?
All-Knowing God, You who see the end from the beginning, can I just hold Your hand right now? I feel naked when I let go of worry and planning – like something that is terribly familiar is strangely missing. Can You fill in those gaps in me? If I let go of fear, will You fill me with Your peace, one moment at a time? And if I try to pick it up again, will You gently whisper to me that You’ve got this? In Jesus’ name, Amen.