It was the straw that broke the camel's back, the match in the powder barrel, the last lick, and final breaking point...The air conditioner in our beloved “Prancer” stopped working AGAIN! The “Prancer” was our big white, beat up, stinky minivan. We affectionately named it that after seeing the movie Vacation. I DO NOT recommend this movie if you are looking for something wholesome to watch with the family. However, the van in the movie called “The Prancer” started off shiny and new with all the bells and whistles. By the end of the movie it literally blew up. Well, our Prancer did not blow up as in a ball of fire, but we did have to sell it for parts. From the time we bought it until the end that van caused so many headaches! We had trouble with everything from the air conditioner blowing hot, to the electric door getting stuck open. It even decided to go a maximum of 20mph down the highway in 5:00 traffic once.
As our family loaded into my husband's car leaving the ole girl behind I was surprised to feel a bit torn. We purchased the van when my son was an infant. I took my children to their first days of school in it, we picked up and delivered friends, and had been on more road trips and vacations than I could count in her. I loathed all the trouble the “Prancer” brought. Yet, I reminisce the good times.
Why was I second guessing and having trouble letting go of something that was clearly, no good for our family anymore? After spending a little time looking a bit closer at my emotions, I deduced several reasons: 1) it was familiar, 2) I was not looking forward to the work that would have to be put into buying another car, and 3) the thought of a payment was terrifying.
Much like my wrestling with emotion over the “Prancer”, I find myself and others often struggle with letting go of things that are no longer good for us. Whether it is a bad relationship or unhealthy habit walking away is often very difficult.
Look at reason #1 - We like like the familiar because we know what to expect. Our bad habit or hang up might yell at us, run up our credit card debt, or cause health issues. However, we’ve been involved long enough to know once they pass out the yelling will stop, the euphoria from the purchase will get us through the moment, and the discomforts from the lifestyle come later in life. Who knows, we might get hit by a bus tomorrow so we'll just take our chances today, right? The comfort on the flip side has been just enough to keep us coming back for more. Be that as it may, as time passes what was once comfortable and familiar is no longer comfortable it is just predictable(or our credit has run out, or that bus never took the route we were on). The habit or hang up is still there but the pleasure it once brought is not. Matthew 6:19 reminds us "Don't store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal.”
Reason #2 - Change is work. We have to put forth effort. We have to seek a better path. Answers don’t always fall in our laps.
Yet thankfully, Matthew 6:33 assures us if we seek GOD first and HIS righteousness we will have all we need. We will be taken care of. We will be sustained. The work pays off!
Reason # 3 - there is always cost. People get hurt. We must leave some behind that are not ready or willing to move forward. We doubt our ability to stay the course, we don't want to be alone, we don't want to face our fears or take responsibility. Our faith in GOD wavers. Even so, “GOD is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill? (Numbers 23:19)
JESUS knows our pain and HIS hurts become our healing. Are people questioning you, possibly making fun of your choice to change. Mark 15:20 says this, “When they were finally tired of mocking him, they took off the purple robe and put his own clothes on him again. Then they led him away to be crucified.” HE was ridiculed for us! Afraid? “And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.”(Luke 22:44) HIS SPIRIT was in agony yet HE reconciled HIMSELF to us! Do you feel alone? Mark 14:50 reminds us, “Then they all deserted Him and ran away.” JESUS was all alone for you and for me! HE knows all our pain and suffering because HE experienced it all.
I want to encourage you to take a step out in faith. Leave the comfortable, familiar, and predictable behind. Embrace the unknown and have faith that GOD has big plans for you!
But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one. 2 Thessalonians 3:3