The other day I turned on NPR on my way home from work just in time to hear a few minutes of Market Place. It’s not really my favorite program since I don’t care much about business, but this time, something caught my attention.
Ed Catmull from Pixar was being interviewed by the host, Kai Ryssdal. They were talking about how significantly the storylines from movies change from the way they begin. Often this happens because the story-writers get stuck at some point in the story, so they have to cut things out and drastically change things to get the story moving again. At one point, Kai Ryssdal commented that it must be so hard to let go of some of those things you originally loved about the story. He asked Ed Catmull how they were able to do it. And Ed said this:
“The trick is, in everything we do, there are things we love. And sometimes the things we love get us stuck. And it’s only if we let go of some of those things that we free the movie up to become greater.”*
Wow. That’s deep, Ed Catmull. And it’s the truth. Just stop and let it sink in for a minute.
We love Taco Bell, but we let it go so we can taste all kinds of exotic flavors.
We love our family, but we let them go so we can become part of a bigger family who may look different than us, but whose hearts speak the same language.
We love our school and home, but we let it go so we can experience the joy of selfless service.
And even as some of you begin looking at the end of your mission term with mixed feelings, you may have to let go of your students, your friends who have been through so much with you, your home away from home…the same is true even now. As we let go of the things we love, we can trust that God will use the loss to create an even greater story. Because God is a master story teller.
You don’t need to fear change, no matter how hard it is or you think it will be. Even after the “adventure” is over, your story is not over. The stories of those you’ve taught and ministered to are not over. Whatever we let go of for the sake of Jesus, we can expect the story to become even greater if we surrender ourselves and those we love to His care.
“Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.” John 12:24 (The Message)
*For those who are interested, you can read the full NPR story here: http://www.marketplace.org/topics/business/big-book/pixar-toy-story-today