Since I'm going to school to be an elementary teacher, I have to take a lot of pretty sweet classes. For example, one class I have this semester is "Creative Experiences and Play" - a big fancy name which really means "We're going to make crafts and make puffy paint and play with tambourines and dance at 8 in the morning and pretend it's legit." Cool class? Absolutely. At 8 in the morning? Not on your life.
Another class I'm taking is something like "Emerging Literacy for the Young Adolescent Kindergarten through 4th grade" or something ridiculous. Again, this has a secret name: "We read kids books and tell stories but it's enough work to make you want to pull your hair out."
I'm real good at this code name stuff.
One of the books we have to read for the biography genre of the class is one about FDR. For those of you who don't know, he was president. 4 times. Bro was legit. He had polio, but he was cool. After he was elected president the first time, he declared a national bank holiday for 4 days in order to straighten things out and get America out of the Great Depression. After he told Americans to take all of their money from under their mattresses (which was true, they were hiding it all under there since the banks were awful,) one Republican had this to say:
"The house is burning down, and the President of the United States says this is the way to put out the fire."
Have you ever thought of that? In order to start over, you have to wipe everything completely out. Take building something new, for example. If there's something there originally where you want to build, you have to level it all out and tear the previous stuff down to make way for the new. Out with the old, in with the new - you know the deal.
This applies to your life, too.
In my last post, I referred to starting over. Clean slate, new challenges to overcome. This one ties in with it. If you're sincere about starting over and doing something new, you have to level what you had before.
Maybe something keeps holding you back. You want to honestly try and do good, to renew everything, start over fresh. But you can't; that's holding you back. Whether you like it or not, it's there and you can't go anywhere with it still in your life.
This could be anything. A friendship. A dream. A guy or girl you're holding out for. A broken heart, a second chance, a shot at something you would never think of. These things aren't necessarily bad, but it's tying you down. Holding you back. Keeping you from leveling everything out, burning the old you away to make way for the new.
Sometimes, it's just plain scary to think about ditching everything we know. I know I struggle with it myself - latching on to familiar things is one of my weaknesses, even though I know it's not for my benefit. There are things that hold me back that I fight to keep, whether they're good for me or not. It's pretty freaky to consider the fact that we should get rid of everything like that, to burn those ties.
We aren't alone when we leave those things behind. God promises us right in His word that we never can be alone:
"And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." - Matthew 28:20.
God is right there with us, holding us as we cut those ties to the things that are holding us back to what we could become and what God wants us to be in Him. It's a much more pleasant thought when we consider getting rid of those things and starting from the ground up when we know He's with us.
When we do let those things go and start new, man! What an awesome adventure we have in store for us then.
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!" - 2 Corinthians 5:17.
God is waiting for us to become new creations, alive in Him. He's there as we get rid of the things He doesn't want in our lives anymore. That person, that relationship, that dream or job - once it's gone, who knows what will happen. God will move.
Perhaps the most famous quote by FDR came from his first inaugural address. In the midst of the Great Depression, with people desolate and unsure of what to do, with banks sinking and the country failing, he had this to say:
"There is nothing to fear but fear itself."
With God, there's simply nothing to fear, period. We don't have to be afraid of anything, because He's got it covered.
Your NR challenge is this: identify the things in your life that are holding you back. What are the things you need to burn to the ground to start over? What ties do you need to sever; what things do you need to get rid of? Pray about it. Think about it.
Then start burning the house down to get ready to put out the fire.
Are you in?