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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Spiritual Outlook: Leap and let go

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The nudge

For those who wait

We will rest ….

“Haven’t I commanded you? Strength! Courage! Don’t be timid; don’t get discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take.” Joshua 1:9 (Message Bible)

“The day came when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” -Anais Nin

I was about to do something on my bucket list.

When I was done, I would be able to put a check next to … skydiving.

We boarded the small plane and we ascended 5,000, 10,000 to over 15,000 feet in the air.

It was at that moment my instructor said, “Sheila, are you ready?”

In that moment, I wasn’t ready. I was completely terrified, yet my response was: “Let’s do this!”

And I leaped.

Initially, I was holding on to the parachute straps so tightly, I could feel my instructor tell me, “Sheila, let go and open up your arms. You need to completely surrender in order to enjoy the whole experience.”

I let go and surrendered and it was amazing.

As I soared through the limitless sky, I realized that I would have missed all of this beauty and wonder if I did not take the leap. I was able to view the world through a different perspective and point of view. All of this was waiting for me on the other side of my leap.

It was amazing.

When I landed on the ground, I realized I could have stayed on the plane and arrived at the same place. However, I would have missed the joy of the journey of the leap. As I drove home, I reflected on the lessons that my skydiving experience taught me.

Letting go takes courage, yet that does not mean you don’t do it afraid. It takes courage to let go and surrender. Whether it is a new assignment, relationship or opportunity, it is normal to be scared. Courage does not mean having no fear; courage calls us to do it in spite of it. A friend shared that if your dream does not scare you a little bit, maybe it is not big enough. Remember it takes courage to let go of the familiar and embrace the new.

Rev. Sheila Spencer crossed off an item on her bucket list when she went skydiving, which taught her how to “take the leap and let go.” (Photo provided by Sheila Spencer)

One of the examples of letting go that has happened during this season what has been called “The Great Resignation” — (term coined by Anthony Klotz) where massive numbers of Americans resigned from their jobs. During the pandemic with waits, lockdowns and life changing experiences, people really had the time and the motivation to sit back and say, “Do I like the trajectory of my life? Am I pursuing a life that brings me well-being?” These decisions took courage, and some did it afraid, but it was worth it.

Letting go releases you from expectations. I tend to be a planner. We plan our lives and schedule when we plan to reach certain milestones. There are our pre-set expected dates when we will graduate, start our careers, begin our families, purchase our cars, buy our homes and retire. But what happens when you do not accomplish the milestone by your expected date? We are imprisoned by our own expectations, remaining paralyzed because it did not go as we expected. This past season has been an example of life not going as we expected and we had to surrender.

Letting go means surrendering. It reminds us that the life we scheduled is not always the life that God has planned for us. We must be willing to let go of the life we planned to have the life that is waiting for us. Letting go frees you from being stuck when life does not go as expected. Letting go liberates us from the expectations of others and our own expectations of ourselves. Letting go in this season of quarantine allowed me to develop relationships with friends that I never anticipated.

Letting go opens up new possibilities. When I leaped, I opened myself up to a breathtaking experience that was waiting for me. Letting go opens you up to new perspectives and expands your life.

Letting go takes courage, but it does not mean you do not do it afraid.

Take the leap and let go.

Letting go releases you from expectations.

Take the leap and let go.

Letting go opens up new possibilities.

Take the leap and let go.

There is another lesson from my leap. Before I took the leap, my instructor told me, “Sheila, remember I am attached to you. When you jump out of the plane, I am with you because we are connected. Even if you don’t hear me, remember that I am with you throughout the whole experience.”

When we let go and surrender, God is with us.

Haven’t I commanded you? Strength! Courage! Don’t be timid; don’t get discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take.” Joshua 1:9 (Message Bible)

Rev. Sheila P. Spencer is an author, poet, teacher and preacher. You can contact her at CustomMadeInspiration@gmail.com and her website is www.sheilapspencer.com.

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