What do you need to let go of?

I just finished reading Into Thin Air, the account of the tragedy on Mt. Everest in 1996. It is both appalling and riveting to read. I clearly saw how the obsession with summit fever can end in disaster and death. It would be easy to be judgmental here, that those climbers should have known better. But as I kept reading, something arresting kept prickling at me. Instead of criticism, I felt a bizarre kinship with the climbers.

The shared feeling of obsession came providentially. I was reading it as I spent a week in CO with my family for vacation. We got a cabin near the Rocky Mountain National Park and were all immediately smitten with the raw beauty. But with a week ahead to enjoy together, my mind instead went elsewhere. It went to my obsession.

I have loved hiking and backpacking for a long time. The spell of nature that mesmerized me in my adolescence has grown into powerful undertow that I feel compelled to submit to. And so the love became an obsession. Here’s how it worked on our vacation.

The day we arrived at the park, I began to pull out maps and drool over the trails and the possible adventures that awaited. But with thousands of acres of wilderness before us, that wasn’t enough. I found myself in an outdoor store the next day pulling out books on other wilderness areas in CO and looking for more trails. What am I doing? What am I searching for? I felt the gnawing split between my obsession and my beloved family.

I came back to our cabin, confused and fidgety. I needed clarity about this desperately. It came the next morning when I awoke to this Scripture: “Ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls” (Jer. 6:16). I sensed the Father telling me, Let it go.

In that moment, it felt like death letting my obsession go (as it always does), but I did it anyway, as best I knew how. And the needed rest for my soul came soon after. So did the fun. The rest of the week in CO turned out to be one gift after another from the Father to our family, from moose and elk close-ups to incredible alpine scenery.

I have learned that letting go is often how we keep following Him. What about you? What do you need to let go of?

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About Coach D

I have been a teacher and a coach for many years. My real name is Bill Delvaux, but my students call me Coach D, hence the user name. This blog is about the journey into the unknown I am walking and the landmarks I am navigating along the way. The destination: becoming who I really am as a man. I invite you to join me by reading along every Monday and Thursday.
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2 Responses to What do you need to let go of?

  1. Bill,I have a few years on you.I have lived longer dealing w “letting go”.I just finished a profound
    chapter in ” my upmost…” by O Chambers.I am really coming to believe that our ENTIRE life in
    Christ is not a goal/end point but our own process of “letting go”.Everything must go (our sinful
    obsessions but our laudable obsessions eg working out,eating perfect food,family -yes infatuation
    with those sweet children,spirituality,witnessing).Chambers teaches that until you look from your
    perch in the boat or on the mountain and are ONLY obsessed by Jesus,you have too much in your life! Something to dwell on in our wealthy American culture where being ‘busy’ or caught up with ‘things’ or ‘politics’ or ‘patriotism’ are held in high regard…………by other Americans!

    • Coach D says:

      Rick,
      You are so right. This is the wisdom of years that you express! We have to keep letting go in order to keep following Jesus. And the letting go involves both bad and good things. For me, the biggest breakthrough has been allowing the Father to guide me and coach me personally in all that I need to let go of, through the experiences of life and through the truth of the Scriptures. Someone once wrote a book about Jesus called The Magnificent Obsession. That’s where the journey always takes us.

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