At the end of Return of the King, Frodo is faced with the most important decision of his life:
Keep the Ring or let it go.
Even though the Ring was evil incarnate and would only lead to the darkest places imaginable, Frodo still resisted. Frodo wasn’t able to let go of the Ring even though, in his right mind, he would have known it was clearly the best course of action.
Unfortunately the inability to let go isn’t exclusive to Hobbits.
At some point we all have difficulty letting go, even when that to which we’re clinging is harmful or dangerous.
When faced with the reality that Sodom and Gomorrah were going to be destroyed, Lot had the same problem as Frodo. He saw firsthand the wickedness of the cities, knew that judgment was coming, yet still hesitated. He wasn’t ready to let go.
With the coming of dawn, the angels urged Lot, saying, “Hurry! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, or you will be swept away when the city is punished.” When he hesitated, the men grasped his hand and the hands of his wife and of his two daughters and led them safely out of the city, for the LORD was merciful to them. – Genesis 19:15-16
The best course of action for Lot was to let go. He needed to leave the city, leave the situation and move on to something better.
When I read that passage I can’t believe that Lot would be willing to hold on to something and stay someplace he knew was harmful. Yet, when I examine my own life, I’m the same exact way.
There are sins that I don’t let go.
There are attitudes I don’t let go.
There are habits I don’t let go.
Even though I know my sin and some of my attitudes and habits are hurtful, it’s like I’m standing in my own personal Mount Doom refusing the let them go.
The problem with not letting go of dangerous and harmful things is they not only hurt us but they keep us from experiencing the life God wants for us. God wants to give us an incredible kingdom life but we can’t take hold of it unless we’re willing to let go.
Just like Frodo needed to let go of the Ring.
Just like Lot needed to let go of Sodom.
There’s probably something in our lives which, if we let go, would propel us deeper into the kingdom life for which we were created.
And if we’re not willing to let go, God might send our own personal Gollum to make us.
How has letting go of something in the past opened you up to something greater?