Make Room for the Good

Make Room for the Good

Published May 3, 2023

By Gaye Lindfors

Along with replacing the tank tops in our closet with sweatshirts and flannels, the Fall season invites us to cleanse, purge, start again, and “finish the year strong!”

(I’m a little over the whole “finish the year strong” thing. I’m just focusing on finishing today strong. Because my “strong” needs a nap.)

A change of season does seem to signal a time to reflect and consider what the next few months could look like though. A time to start again. And that can be healthy.

But it’s easy to mess this up.
We believe that starting again means we have to add something to our lives. New (good!) things to do and spend time on. But usually, you and I don’t have time to do more, right? We need to remove something to either give ourselves more time and space, or to replace the “good” with “better.”

My cooking skills are … well, they really aren’t skills. They are pre-school learnings at best. But this I know …
I’m making a chicken dish with broccoli. But as I start preparing the chicken in the skillet with the onion and garlic, I realize something doesn’t smell right. I check out the package the chicken was in. The expiration date was two weeks ago. Yeah, not good. It would be silly and stupid to just add more garlic and onions to try and make the smell go away before I toss in the broccoli, right? I can’t keep the bad stuff, add more stuff, and expect the dish to be great. The chicken has to go.

The reason we want to start again is because our heart is looking for a more peaceful life. We want and need more time to breathe. And to move closer to that, we have to first let go of what’s not working. My friend, Londa Lundstrom, taught me this: “None of us can do more. But we can do less, better.”

What’s making your life hard? What activities need to get thrown out with the bad chicken? What’s wearing you out? What’s just not fun anymore? What are you doing that you know – in the quietest place of your heart – isn’t working for you?

Or, perhaps, what you need to let go of is a hurt or resentment deep down inside that bubbles up every time you get tired or discouraged. It’s a part of your life that gets between you and God – between your willingness to trust this God who loves you most and your choice to hang on to the old messages, lies, or hurts.

Letting go isn’t just something nice to do to have a breathe-easier life. In Hebrews 12:1, the Bible tells us (note: not a suggestion, it’s a “do this” message) to “throw off everything that hinders [unnecessary weight] and the sin that so easily entangles [trips us up]” and then live our life with faith, trust, perseverance, clear direction, and a heart that is in synch with the Almighty God. It is then that we find our peace.

Let go of it.
The people pleasing. The over-committing. The social media scrolling. The perfection trap. The unhealthy, draining relationship. The pity party.

Let go of it.
The resentment. The hurt. The blaming. The need to be right. The sin.

Math has always been one of my least favorite subjects in school. But I do know this …
When you subtract a number from another number, you get the “difference.” You subtract two from five, and the difference is three. You let something go to find the difference.

Your life can be different, in more ways than just pulling on the sweatshirts and packing up the sandals for a few months.
God has good things for you. He wants you to live in peace.
“He forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases. He redeems you from death and crowns you with love and tender mercies. He fills your life with good things. Your youth is renewed like the eagles!” (Psalm 103:3-5)

You want something different? Let something go.
Then take a deep breath. And start again.

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