Stuff Gets in the Way: Matthew 19:16-22

By Larry McGuire

One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things. 
– Henry Miller 

I am in transition and preparing for a move to the British Isles. It’s exciting to think about serving with people in a new culture and context. I consider it a privilege to visit places where centuries of faithful people gather to worship and serve God. I will visit church members and friends in nations where professing your faith was illegal. And I will visit nations where being a disciple in Community of Christ is just beginning to take shape. And yet, that’s not the challenge.

I’ve worked out of the same office in my home for the last twelve years.   I know where all the books are on the shelves and where things are filed. I am very comfortable in my space. I appreciate the predictability it gives. I have found a way to hide things behind doors and stack books and files in a way that works. Now, I’m preparing for a move and it’s forcing me to evaluate what to pack, what to place in storage and finally, what to let go of. How can I let go of books or documents that I’ve acquired over the years? I might need them someday and then what do I do?

The experience of a journey asks us to consider: What is essential to bring for our journey?   What can we leave behind? What are the new experiences going to require us to develop?   However, we often ask, what will I be forced to give up? I want to figure how letting go will set me free for a new experience and opportunity.   If I allow stuff to get in the way, I am beginning to realize it prevents me from having freedom for the journey ahead. It is a must to make room for more wonderful things to come.

Slowing down, engaging, daily, in spiritual practices and paying attention to where God is leading frees us for the journey. Letting go is a practice to experience in our personal, spiritual lives and in the experience of our congregations. Letting go allows the unfolding adventure with God to have complete space.

When we eliminate stuff for our journey, we also release ourselves from using the familiar maps and guides on which we depend. What I have come to appreciate is that I am given an opportunity to live into new signs and markers for the journey.   I pray I will continue to learn how to keep stuff from getting in the way to have the space for an adventure with God.

Reblogged from Missional Leaders Blog