I’ve often contemplated potential life changes. The reasons for doing so vary. In the end, I suppose I have some deep understanding that the change would be appropriate.
Yet, I hesitate. I find ways to commit to the change partially, managing to hang on to a piece of my prior way of living. I manage to convince myself that the old way is in some cases a product of the times we live in – certainly not of my making – and thus … unavoidable.
But is it? Really?
I think of the story where Jesus responds to a question about how to gain eternal life by saying that you should sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, then follow Him. (I’m paraphrasing of course!)
I’ve often gotten hung up on this notion.
I think my problem is that I’m being too literal. When I think possessions I think stuff. You know… the house, the cars, the material goods that I surround myself with. I don’t really choose to have these things. It’s just a product of the times we live in, right? I mean… I’ve got to have a place to live and transportation, and clothes, and golf clubs, and stuff… right?
The problem with thinking this way is that I can’t possible go “All In”. I can’t commit. I do need to provide for myself and my family so that we can live. That’s the reality. So, I have to find a place to draw the line somewhere, right?
Maybe not. Maybe my problem is with my notion that “possessions” means “stuff”. What if it doesn’t? What if a more accurate interpretation is that by “possessions” He means something else we “own” and hold close to us. Maybe He’s talking about our baggage.
Perhaps to be truly free to follow, what I need to do is let go. Not of my possessions themselves, but of my need for them. I need to let go of my baggage. Any maybe it’s not just my need for stuff either. Maybe I need to let go of my need for other types of baggage.
My need for acceptance, for example. If I’m honest, I have to admit that my need for acceptance drives a whole lot of the choices I make in life, and many of those choices put me on a path that is apart from where I feel I need to be going.
So what’s my point?
My point is that I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to go “ALL IN”. I have to quit thinking that I can keep my baggage with me and just carry it along. I have to walk this path without possessions. I have to leave the baggage behind. ”ALL IN” is the only way it will work.
I’m going all in. I’m sure I’ll have to repeat this process in many ways. I’ve carried these bags for a long time. I’m not even sure that I’d recognize myself without them. But… perhaps that’s the point. I need to be me, instead of me with baggage.
I’m all in.
(originally published on July 18, 2012 on my Tumblr version of this blog)