Over the last few weeks I spent time thinking about what I’m thankful for. As I thought about how my life looks like right now, I came to appreciate in a renewed way how full of goodness it is, from people to my job to my living situation to my church to the variety of other activities that fill up my time.
And it’s times like these, when life is going fairly well, that my “I don’t like change” tendency kicks in in high gear. My own future looks reasonably steady, but it’s not necessarily that way for the people whose lives intersect with mine. It’s when I’m looking down the road, knowing people’s situations are going to change that will inevitably change me too, that make me want to stop time. I want to wrap my right now in a warm fuzzy blanket, clutch it close to my chest and hold on for dear life.
That’s not a good way to live, for my own hands and arms that cramp as they cling so tightly, and for the things I squeeze so tightly they threaten to break.
What would it look like if I lived differently? Life with open hands.
It would look like accepting the good things I’m entrusted with for however long I am supposed to have them, and graciously letting them go when they are no longer mine to hold. It applies to almost everything in life, from relationships to jobs to vehicles to houses to memories. Most of what we come in contact with on a daily basis is temporary.
Which, for a change-hater, is kind of terrifying.
This idea of living with open hands is more of an attitude than a daily, physical action, which in ways makes it all the more difficult. If all I had to do was physically open my hands, I’d be set. Done. But metaphorically opening my hands is a much more nebulous idea, yet somehow seems exceedingly important.
Of course, there are certainly times when we must hold tightly, even despite frustration and hurt and difficulty. Some relationships, jobs, vehicles, houses, and memories should be held onto, and that is well and good. But I’m learning there are less of those things than I once thought.
Til next time…
p.s. What would living with open hands look like for you?