I really like Bob Goff. I love his book Love Does and his heart for Africa, and I appreciate his whimsy spirit. I’ve never met him and I don’t know him personally, but I called him once and he answered.
I shared about how I was in a season of hurt and because I couldn’t see past the pain, I felt like I was losing parts of myself, but at the same time I felt the most alive I had felt in a long, long time. I had walked away from something scarred and a little broken-hearted. I was pretty much drowning, but smiling in the midst. I told him how his words about failure (“I used to be afraid of failing at something that really mattered to me, but now I’m more afraid of succeeding at things that don’t matter”) really brought me back up to the surface and I was clinging to them like a life preserver. I told him what I wanted my life to be about and asked him how he was able to spend his life just doing stuff he loved. I wanted and needed that. He shared advice from his heart and then he gave me his email address and told me to stay in touch. We didn’t talk for long, but that simple, generous act of answering, listening, and sharing with a total, clearly emotional stranger, changed me a little bit.
One thing Goff talks about a lot if you’ve read his book or follow him on social media is quitting something on Thursdays. I was thinking about this act as I read one of Shauna Niequist’s devotions in Savor earlier this week. She says:
“But the very things you think you need most desperately are the things that can transform you the most profoundly when you finally release them. The college I had my heart set on, the boyfriend I believed would be my husband, the job that defined me, the pregnancy I believed would end a season of longing and loss. Each one, pulled from my grubby fists, taught me something fundamental about desire and transformation. Over and over, I learn the hard way that the thing I’m clinging to can be the thing that sets me free.”
She ends the devotion by asking: “What are you clinging to in this season? What do you think might happen if you released it?”
Sometimes it’s not our decision to ‘uncling’ from something. However, sometimes and perhaps most times, it is. As we head into the weekend, here’s to all of us releasing whatever it is we feel we can’t live without.