About 30 years ago in Ohio Kim and I bought an antique dining set from an elderly couple who bought it new in the 1930's. We had planned to raise our four children around this table. But when we answered a call for mission in Alaska we could not take it with us.
And today after more than 22 years in Alaska we are preparing to move to Oregon. Just as we found ourselves having to let go of our beloved dining table so now are we facing similar decisions. Large handmade framed pictures of each of our kid's school photos over the course of 12 years. Snowmachines that took me into the wintry wonderland of the Alaska back country. Oak beds I made for our kids. My Shopsmith woodworking tool. We are saying goodbye to all these things.
And you know what? Once I begin the process of letting go it becomes easier as I encounter the next thing. It is like steering a disabled car. Once you get it rolling it becomes easy to steer it. But it is very hard to turn the steering wheel of a car that is not moving.
As I think about how we have become attached to the ways of doing and being Church I don't want to forget the lesson of that first separation. Some of us Christian/Church people are way too attached to a certain type of music, worship style, or view of scripture. We need to begin the process of letting go of some preferences as we focus on our core purpose to grow Christ-followers to change the world. Antique dining tables are not nearly as important as our mission. Music and worship preferences do not need to be locked in stone. How we view scripture in today's world can grow and mature.
Perhaps the key is as simple as holding that beloved thing in our hands, breathing deeply, and offering it to God. And saying goodbye to the next thing may just be a bit easier. All this we do for the sake of growing the kingdom of God.