Monday, Jul 13, 2020

Letting Go or Keep Holding On: How to Discern Your Next Move

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Alecia M. White
Alecia M. White
Author, blogger, lover of coffee, and all things Jesus. By profession, Alecia is a teacher and administrator. She recently published her first book "The Thing Is...", a poignant look at suffering and endurance. She is privileged to share her love for Christ through her writing.

letting goMmmkay, so every week when I go into my office, I typically have quite a bit to print – from letters to deposit slips, to checks. Now, we did have a copier in my boss’s office, but it conked out on us and they opted not to have it repaired (they didn’t ask me). Instead, we now have this big beast of a copy machine in our copy room. It’s huge and it does everything – even staples. All the ladies in the office think it’s so great.

From the beginning, we haven’t gotten along… me and the copier, that is. Initially, it wouldn’t print anything I’d sent, or it started printing everything double-sided. Of course, this made my job difficult because everything I typed up needed to be printed. And before you think it, yes, I sent the files correctly – my boss double-checked… lol.

Well, it’s been a while and you’ll all be happy to know that we are on a level playing field now and the copier cooperates with me. There is, however, one catch. You see, no matter how long I’ve been in the office working, around three o’clock, the copier starts storing my copy jobs so that I have to manually send them through. What I mean is, instead of pushing the “print job” button, I have to press that and then go into the copy setting to change the job status to print. That’s like three more steps than I should have to take. But it only happens around this time. Right when I get in the flow of my work, that doggone copier shows me who’s boss.

Know When It’s Time to Persevere and When It’s Time for Letting Go

I know I may be pushing it, but I think it’s the copier’s way of saying, “Girl, you’re tired, go home.” Whatever it means, it’s a sign that I should be done printing stuff because it only does it to me… I asked.

It reminded me of seasons in our lives, things start off rough, but we eventually get the hang of it. Then, when our time is up and letting go is the move, stuff just doesn’t go the way it normally would.

How many times do we overstay our welcome in a situation? All the signs point you to the door, yet you’re trying to hang around.

Have you ever had a time in your life where you felt it was time to change direction and you chose not to? Didn’t go so well, did it?

So, What’s the Play Call?

There will be seasons in life when the next steps aren’t so apparent, and times when the need to “quit printing” is obvious. Here are a few things to remember when you’re trying to discern whether it’s time for letting go or whether you should keep trying:

  1. You’ve got to endure. In order for me to even get that machine to do what I needed, I had to go through the process of learning how to properly use it. It was a task, but I couldn’t complete my daily tasks without it. So, don’t quit too soon before you learn how to move through your process and master the lesson. “Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 2:3, NLT
  2. Finish your season. I had to keep trying before I even got to the point where I could use the copier. But my reward was it actually doing what I needed it to do. You’ve got to go through your entire season to get the victory. “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Galatians 6:9
  3. Know when your season is up. Just like my 3 o’clock hour, I had to realize that me and the copier beast were done for the day. Don’t ignore your signal to exit. “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:” Ecclesiastes 3:1
  4. Always seek God. He will let you know when it’s time to let it go and He will also lead you to your next. “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:6

Knowing that we must move on from where we are isn’t always easy. We get comfortable and sometimes stay too long, no matter how much we want what’s next. Don’t get stuck in the middle of your process, go on through it. But, please, don’t miss your 3 o’clock to let it go.

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