Devoted Blog

A GRIPPING TALE

December 26, 2018

Blog By Polly Boyette

A few years back we decided to have the interior of our home painted. A painter was recommended to us, he gave us an estimate and we accepted it. It was a big job and it was going to take quite a while to finish it. On the first day the painter showed up I made sure I was up, dressed, makeup on and hair combed. But after about three days I just started answering the door wearing my pajamas and robe, no makeup, my hair standing on top of my head and a coffee cup in my hand.

“Come on in,” I’d say in a sleepy voice.

The painter started to feel like part of the family after a while, but he was very afraid of my two dogs, Nicky, a mixed breed, and my Old English Sheep dog, Maggie. They were really harmless, but he said they made him nervous. He wasn’t used to being around dogs and he just didn’t trust them. I didn’t want him painting with one eye on the dogs and one eye on the walls so I tried to keep them out of his way as much as possible.

One afternoon we decided to get the dogs out of the house and take them for a walk. The painter was busy painting way up on his ladder in the dining room. Maggie and Nick were upstairs in another room. When I went up to get them they went crazy, as dogs tend to do when they have been shut up for more than five minutes. Total chaos followed. Nicky escaped and ran downstairs before I could catch him. I heard the painter say, “Hey, where did he come from?” I yelled down for my sister, Robbie to grab him before he scared the painter to death.

I then made a very big mistake. I hooked a retractable leash onto Maggie’s collar and we started down the stairs. Before I knew it, Maggie bolted down the stairs, pulling the retractable leash all the way out. She made it down the stairs and turned the corner to the dining room while I was still at the top of the stairs. It didn’t dawn on me to just let go of the leash because I thought I could control her if I held on tight enough. Needless to say, I went tumbling down the stairs, banging into the wall at the foot of the stairs, making a wide turn into the dining room and slamming right onto the dining room table, then sliding across the top of it. An Easter Lily was on the table. It was a gift for our mom. I grabbed it with my free arm, trying frantically to save it, but I fell off the table onto the floor with the Easter Lily turning upside down, spilling dirt all over me.
As I looked up, I realized I had landed right at the foot of the painter’s ladder. He had been watching the whole ugly scene unfold from his high perch and was now staring down at me.

“Taking the dogs for a walk?” he asked, smiling.

“Yes, I thought I would,” I answered with a huge sigh. He just laughed and went right back to his painting. I guess he had finally gotten used to our crazy household.

Too often we hold tightly to things and people from our past. We allow wrong relationships into our lives which may seem harmless at first. We think we are in control. We hold on to them with all of our might, believing we are in the driver’s seat, only to wake up one day to find we’ve lost all control. These relationships drag us through life, instead of propelling us to a higher level. Even though we know we should let go, we continue to hold on, until we’re slammed into a brick wall, leaving us broken or weakened and flat of our backs.

Why do we hold onto something we know is wrong with such a tight grip? I believe it’s because we convince ourselves that we can’t do any better. We settle for less than God’s best for our lives. We believe the “more abundant life” Christ intends us to have is for someone else more deserving. We become comfortable with old habits, second best, negative relationships that can hold us down. We settle for mediocrity and a lukewarm Christian walk.

With the start of the New Year, it might be a good time to loosen that grip and let go of the things or relationships you know are bad for you. If you’re going to hold tightly to something, hold tightly to the promises of God. He has promised never to abandon you, to love you unconditionally, to prosper you and not to harm you. Grab hold of that. Embrace that. Step into 2019 with a brand new confidence! Let go of the leash!