Hold It Loosely


My brother-in-arms, Manuel, said something to me a while back that I hope I’ll never forget. “Hold it loosely,” he said. If you can clear your mind of yourself, you’ll hear that God calls us–and indeed commands us–to do certain things with certain people at certain times. He gives us talents, shapes us and then gives us Kingdom tasks. But we have to hold those tasks loosely. If we don’t, they become our work, not His work. When that happens Psalm 135 says we will no longer see what He wants us to see, hear what He wants us to hear or breathe His Spirit on others. “Hold it loosely,” Manuel said, because we will kill it if we hold too tightly.

Things don’t happen the way we want them to, and believe me I had different expectations for the first 45 days of Willie’s participation in the RighTrak program. We encountered challenges almost immediately after the luster of the initiation weekend wore off. I naively underestimated the power of our desire to do what we know–to do what we’ve done in the past–no matter how poor a decision it might be. Perhaps it’s the evil one whispering in our ear, “Do what’s comfortable. Don’t risk doing something new.” Perhaps it’s just human nature.

Don’t get me wrong. We didn’t have a big backslide. It was more of a preview of what could be if we’re not vigilantly and intentionally discipling one another–that is, going through the slow, methodical process of teaching, showing, assisting and watching. Perhaps it was my first, real understanding that this is going to be hard, very hard.

But here’s the kicker. If it were easy, we wouldn’t need to have faith, we wouldn’t need to rely on Him, and it wouldn’t be Kingdom work. When things don’t go the way we planned, we have a choice. Keep holding it tightly, be disappointed and try to hold it tighter in the future, or loosen the grip, recognize we are not in control, listen to what God is trying to tell us and keep working the circle.

Pray that we hold it loosely, work the circle and allow Him to work through us. “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” Prov. 16:9 (NLT)