This summer, our pastor has been preaching a series of sermons on Dreams. Not the kind you have when you’re asleep, but the kind you’ve had mulling around in your head for years and years and have not yet fulfilled.
The underlying question for me has been this: Of what do I need to let go in order to see my dreams come true?
The reason I ask is because I’ve realized that the reasons I’ve given to myself or to others for not fulfilling my dreams are just plain old excuses. Period. I’m too busy. Or I don’t have the energy. Or I’m not good enough, Or – shall I admit it? – I am afraid. Afraid of failure. Afraid of what other people will think. Afraid that in order to move ahead I might have to let go of something.
I read this little story recently:
Imagine that you are climbing one of the largest mountains in the world and are very close to the reaching the peak, which is a goal you’ve had all your life. You’ve prepared yourself physically and mentally. You are beginning the final stretch to the peak of your climb, when you decide to rest on a small ledge which that juts out about three feet from the mountain. You see another climber approaching you from below. He lifts himself up and joins you on the ledge. He’s wearing a rope tied around his waist and holds the loose end in his hands. He holds out the end of the rope and says, “Pardon me, would you be so kind as to hold the end for a moment?”
You take the rope. “Thank you,” says the man, who then adds: “use two hands now, and remember, hold tight.” To your surprise the man jumps over the side off the ledge and yells, “Don’t let go! I’ll fall a thousand feet if you do.” You hold on with all your strength. The man is suspended over the ledge, and sure to die if he falls. You try to pull him up, but he is too heavy. You offer suggestions about how he could climb back up the rope hand over hand. The man shouts back, “Hold on. Don’t let go. If you let go, I’ll die.” You tug and pull tug, but nothing works. The afternoon is beginning to fade and it’s getting cold. You have to do something otherwise you won’t reach the peak, which you can see through the mist and clouds.
You think of a way the man can wrap the rope around himself and eventually pull himself up hand over hand, and you shout the instructions. The man replies, “No, please, please don’t let go. I’ll fall to my death if you do.” You coax, wheedle, scream, and yell at the climber, all to no avail. You realize you are running out of time, and if you don’t do something, you will not reach the mountain peak. You shout the instructions one more time, “Listen carefully. I mean what I’m about to say. I will not accept responsibility for your life, only for my own. If you don’t help yourself while I’m helping you, I can do no more. If you don’t do this, I’m going to let go of the rope.”
The man responds, “No, hold on. If you let go, I’ll die. Just hang on tight.” You wait and tug, and the man does nothing but hold the rope. He makes no effort at all.
You let go of the rope and climb to the peak of the mountain.
I thought about this. What is it in my life that I am are holding on to? What is it that I am clutching so tightly that it is keeping me from getting on with my life? From doing whatever it takes to reach my goals? I thought about what might be at the end of that rope I am holding, and what it would mean to let it go. Is it worth it to remain stuck where I am in order to keep that thing at the end of the rope alive? What would actually happen if I let go? It’s scary to think about, but also liberating at the same time.
This is the scripture that comes to mind:
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)
Time to let go.
Fulfill your dreams.