"Now I commit you to God..."
Thoughts for Today:Why do some people have so much difficulty letting go? I think there are two reasons. First, they think that by letting go the intimacy of the relationship will be lost or changed forever; and second, a fear that the student, child, or person being mentored is not adequately prepared for the difficulties of the world. From Paul's previous words, including our passage today I think we can safely assume that he was suffering from some degree of "separation anxiety." Certainly he was concerned for their safety, well-being and continued growth.
Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, "Most people are willing to take the Sermon on the Mount as a flag to sail under, but few will use it as a rudder by which to steer." In other words, will the student take the principles taught and turn those into a principled life? Paul understood his job as teacher was finished and the Ephesians were now in God's hands. So Paul did what is perhaps the most difficult thing for a teacher, parent, or mentor to do -- he let go. Then he trusted and committed them to God.
Questions to Ponder:Have you held onto a relationship for too long? Have you been afraid to let go of someone for fear they aren't ready? From our own experience we know many of the best lessons in life are learned through experience -- sometimes as a result of mistakes. Maturity comes from stepping outside the student-teacher shadow. Do you need to step outside another's shadow? Or do you need to allow someone to step away from yours? It is difficult sometimes to know when to set someone free or in our own case become less dependent. Which are you? Are you, as Oliver Wendell Holmes suggested, willing to use the lessons you've learned as a rudder to steer by or are you a perpetual student?