A month or so after the accident, an opportunity to volunteer on the playground, at the school, presented itself. I quickly jumped at the chance for two reasons. First, I love spending time with kids. They rarely ask questions, they don’t notice if your eyes are red and puffy, and they just live to enjoy life. I needed to be surrounded by some old-fashion joy. Second, being home, especially alone, is a torture that few can understand. Alone, with my thoughts, fears and sadness, walking through rooms that, not that long ago, were filled with laughter, silliness and hope, is a place I try not to put myself in too often.
I still work on the playground, once a week, for only an hour, but in that hour, I have the chance to play. I watch routines on the bars, play catch with whatever they are throwing and, everyone’s favorite, push the six kids that made it to the swings the fastest, while everyone else waits in line for their turn.
Some want an underdog, some want a slow push and some just want to swing themselves while talking to me about the woes of elementary school life. I love it.
I find myself saying two statements though, over and over again.
Hold on and Let Go
I tell them to hold on when I’m about to push. Hold on with both hands. Hold on tight.
And when they slow down enough to jump off…I tell them to let go. Let go with both hands. Let go or you’ll get hurt.
I’ve seen the ones that don’t hold on tight when I push. They end up swinging lopsided, on an angle, almost colliding with their neighbors.
And I’ve seen the ones that don’t fully let go when it’s time, trying to jump while still holding the chain with one hand. They usually end up flat on their backs, laying in the woodchips, wondering where they went wrong.
Today, I realized how often I make both of these mistakes in life.
Hebrews 10:23 “Let us hold on unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful.”
Holding on to the promises of God allows me to swing straight when I get pushed or challenged. Loosening my grip, even just a little, leaves me feeling on edge, uneven, angry and bitter. It can cause me to collide with those on the same path as me, sometimes with my words, sometimes with my actions, but always affecting more than just myself.
At the same time, though, not letting go, when God says to let go…
Philippians 3:13 “But one thing you need to do is forget (let go) of what is behind you and reach forward to what is ahead. Press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”
Letting go of the past, the pain, the hurt, the confusion and letting go with both hands, allows me to land firmly on my feet, when God calls me deeper. If I try to hold on, even with just one hand, I will find myself on the ground, struggling to understand where I went wrong. Burdens still strapped to my back and sore from the fall.
So remember today, on this rainy October 1st….
Hold on to His promises and Let Go of the pain.