There has been a picture in my head; a scene from a movie lately. What I have been seeing is a very large ball of Christmas lights that are all tangled up and need to be unraveled.
If you have ever seen the movie “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”, then you will know what I am talking about.
Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) wants to have a perfect family Christmas; including the perfect decorations and lights on the outside of his house.
The plan is to install the 250 strands of lights (with 100 bulbs on each strand for a total of 25,000 light bulbs, enough to make the power company turn on their auxiliary nuclear generator…)
But, before he can install them, he needs to untangle massive balls of lights from the last time they were installed on the house. Clark enlists his son Rusty (Johnny Galecki) to help him in this endeavor.
Clark tells Rusty; “Come on, unravel these. You have to check every bulb”
“There’s a little knot here…you work on that!” he continues as he hands Rusty the world’s largest ball of Christmas lights.
“I’ll get the other box.” Clark says as he makes his way back into the garage to retrieve another set of lights.
That picture, along with a recent message I heard on ‘forgiveness’, has been on my mind.
Why, I ask myself, does Clark even attempt (or have Rusty attempt) to unravel that massive ball of lights? Why not simply throw out the ball and purchase another set of lights?
And it got me thinking; There are times in life when no matter how hard you try, you simply cannot untangle the mess that was created in the past.
Sometimes the best thing to do is simply throw out the old and admit that it is time for a new string of lights and go from there.
I will admit that I have lost countless hours, days, and weeks of my life trying to resolve things only to get further away from the end goal of reconciliation.
I will admit that I am hardwired to check every jot and tittle to make sure that every area and viewpoint has been looked at so that both sides can really know that everything has been discussed.
I will admit that I have done all this in an attempt toward reconciliation and so that it will never happen again.
I will admit that I had to come to the point of realizing that sometimes in forgiveness and relationships there are times when it is almost impossible to untangle the minutia and one simply needs to start over in the relationship.
That sometimes the best thing to do is simply do is throw out the old and admit that it is time for a new string of lights and go from there.
In first Corinthians chapter thirteen verse 4-7, the Apostle Paul wrote:
“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
One version of the Bible translates verse five as;
“it keeps no record of wrongs.”
In other words; “Love keeps no record”. That doesn’t mean that we don’t remember, but in order to move on we need to stop trying to go over and over every detail. We need to keep no record.
Jesus expands on the seriousness of not letting go in Matthew chapter six verse 14-15
“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”
I will let His words speak for themselves and add:
Sometimes it is time for a new string of lights