It’s been a season of moving on for me lately. I left my job three weeks ago. I said goodbye to the people I worked with, and the place that had filled up so much of my time over the last several years. It was time, it was the right thing, but it was not easy.
Our family has served at a youth camp every summer for the last several summers. It’s been a great opportunity for us all to serve in one place together. The experiences and relationships we have made there are special and we will always remember them. But this was the last time for us. It was the last time for everyone. The owners of the camp have decided to let that particular venue go. It was one more thing, another group of people, to say goodbye to.
Change is hard. Letting go is hard, too. The disciples would agree. They had a good thing going with Jesus. They were ministering to large crowds, people were being healed, and they were turning religion on its ear. They were ready to follow Jesus all the way to an earthly throne. It was a sweet gig, really.
So when Jesus told them it was going to end… you can imagine that they were not completely on board. This wasn’t going to go down they way they had thought. Jesus was going away? Why? Things were just heating up. They were making some real progress. They had walked away from the life they had known, thrown down nets, left profitable practices, and now he was leaving?
But it was time. The plan was never for Jesus to stay. It had always been that he would go, tag out to the Holy Spirit, and let Him take it from there. Things were going to change for the disciples, and they were going to change in a big way.
They might have been doubtful, scared even, when Jesus broke the news to them in the Upper Room. But I bet if you could ask them now, they would tell you it was the very best thing that could have ever happened. They could have gone on living with Jesus, but had he not left them, sacrificed his life for them, made way for the Holy Spirit to fill them, they never would have known what it would feel like to truly know Jesus; to have his power alive inside them. The disciples went on to do some crazy and miraculous things after Jesus left them.
It’s hard for us to move on to new things. Especially if we aren’t completely sure what those new things will be. We want to cling to what we know, even if what we know isn’t really all that great. We’d rather hold on to familiar mediocrity than reach out for unfamiliar extraordinary. Why? Because we have fear and we have doubt. We don’t want to leave behind something we know for something that could be bad. (And yes, that statement is as pathetic as it sounds.)
Change is hard, but change is the only thing that ever moves us forward.
I think CS Lewis put it pretty good when he said,
“There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.”
He was right. Lewis wasn’t proposing that life becomes some bed of roses as we move forward, but looking back over the whole of my life, his statement has been true.
So what’s the remedy?
Motion. Forward motion. Just take a step. Just one step. I know it’s hard. But I promise if you take that first, tentative step, you’ll see the ones that follow that one will be easier. Why? Because with each step, with each forward motion, your confidence in the plan, His plan, for your life will grow stronger. And yes, He has a plan, and it’s all coming along right on schedule.
So get moving. What are you waiting for?