I’m a writer so I love pens, especially those colorful ones in a variety pack. Once I was gifted this really cute pen – it was white with black polka dots and had the words “Be Bold” etched on it. It was my favorite for like a month, then it quit working. Yep, it ran out of ink or the ink dried up, I’m not sure which. Whatever the reason, it was of no use to me anymore, I mean, what does a writer do with an inkless pen?
Exactly… nothing at all.
You want to know something though? No worries, I’d tell you even if you whispered “no” to yourself. I kept that pen. I sure did, because it was so cute.
Now, I had no use for it, I couldn’t show it off or anything. And, it only took up space, but I kept it in my pen holder on my desk. I kept it until one day I was cleaning and decided to go through all of my pens to be sure they worked. I often do this so I don’t get angry in the middle of writing and have to throw a pen away.
I began to scribble with each pen and I finally got to this “favorite” pen of mine. I tried writing with it then remembered that I couldn’t. I had no choice but to throw it away because, well, it wasn’t serving me the way it should.
It’s Time for Letting Go, Make Room for Better
Want to know something else? Yep, brace yourself. We do this with life stuff. We sure do. We hold on to things that have rendered themselves completely useless to us.
Many times we hold on because it looks good on paper, in public, or to other people. And maybe, just maybe, we like to look a certain way to those outsiders.
We stay in toxic relationships because we are afraid of what people will say if they knew things didn’t work out – again. We worry about what they’ll think if we left without “getting that ring”.
We hold on to stressful jobs that God is trying to lead us away from because, sure, the pay is good, but others regard us so highly that we’d feel lost without. We have car payments that we can’t afford to pay, but we do so that we don’t lose the respect of those who judge us by the stuff we own, not the people we are.
Sometimes, we hold on just because we don’t know how to handle someone else having what was once ours. Yet, all these things are empty inside, just like my cute pen.
Inkless, so they serve no purpose but to take up space that can be used by something fulfilling.
So, What’s the Play Call?
What good is a relationship with no substance? A job that leaves you drained and on edge 100% of the time? An expensive car that you are so stressed out about that you can’t enjoy that sunroof or heated leather seats? It’s all for an empty show.
Like my pen, there may be some things taking up valuable space in your life. For you, maybe not the things I mentioned, but whatever they are, here are some things to remember when you are holding on to that “inkless pen”:
- Give that thing to God. Often, our problem isn’t that we want to keep what is burdening us, it’s that we don’t really know how to let it go. The Lord knows exactly how to handle it. “Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.” Psalms 55:22
- Focus on what God has for you. When you allow yourself to desire what’s in store for you from Christ, you are more apt to let go of those things that He didn’t give. “Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you.” Proverbs 4:25 NLT
- Seek God first. This one thing will cause your life to align with His will for you. And you know something? When you’re in His will, you don’t want all that empty stuff that was once a placeholder in your life. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33
- Trust God. When you trust someone, you listen to them, their opinion is valuable to you, and you are more prone to take their advice. When you trust God, you listen when He tells you that something is not for you. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5
- Know that what is ahead is much more fulfilling than what you’re leaving behind. It is important for us to understand what our futures hold. Get hyped about it. That excitement about what is better will leave no room for what was. “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,” Philippians 3:13
I know that it is hard to let go sometimes. So often, we hold on to stuff for the memories, but we’ve got to learn when those memories are causing us anguish or slowing down our purpose. It’s okay to throw out that empty pen and let God fill that space.