Burn the Boats: The Secret to Letting Go

Have you ever been sucker punched in the gut when you’ve least expected…like a ship with the wind knocked out of its sails?

If so, then know that’s where I am as I write this. But before I continue, let me just say this is not going to be a shared post so if you’re reading this, then a) pardon the processing and b) you’re not here by accident.

That said, I think it’s important we come to terms with a key reality of life: as fallen people, we carry fallen perspective…and as much as we’d like everyone to appreciate (or see eye to eye with) us, truth is: that’s never going to happen.

Sure, we’d like to assume people of similar belief and faith would be immune. Sure, we’d hope people who receive grace would certainly extend it. But at the end of the day, unless we’re deliberate in responding to conviction, there's always a chance we’ll believe whatever is necessary to feel like a hero vindicated against our greatest disappointment.

And I know it’s unfortunate…the idea anyone could be so content to preserve you in the worst light…to judge you through a rusty pinhole1. But at some point we have to accept the fact in this life we’re going to be someone’s enemy no matter how much we change, no matter how well our intentions may be.

Now I admit: I’m not the best at interpreting the unspoken rules of interpersonal communication. Many times I’ve gotten in trouble by believing and hoping for the best, forgetting to be human is to believe it’s too late, it’s not worth it, there’s no way…I could go on.


I guess what I’m trying to say is: we may sincerely desire something good, something along the lines of Philippians 4:8-9; however, just because our hope may be pure in intention doesn’t mean it will be felt or received the way it should from one person to the next. So if you ever land on a higher plane of thought, don’t stress if you’re the only one who’s benefiting. Just surrender all trust to God who works his will outside our terms and timeline.

Bottom line: If you ever encounter someone who refuses the honor of meeting you on the viaduct of reconciliation2, don’t just burn the bridge, burn the boats as well. Sure, setting a torch to broken dreams and expectations may hurt at first; however, if you’re willing to lay the watered rag down and be at peace knowing you were ready, you can rejoice when people shun your humility…you can find rest when people label you as nothing more than a sorry footnote in their life…and you can find victory knowing their flawed opinion doesn’t define or disqualify you.

All you have to do is let go (of the good) and let God (take hold of the better). Again, not saying the transaction won’t feel awkward at first, but I guarantee you, the more you embrace this as a rhythmic reality, the stronger you allow yourself to become.

Whatever situation you find yourself in, know the best is yet to come…and you will get there.

Don’t look back now.


1) Or outdated filter…take your pick
2) Speaking more so from a forgiveness standpoint than relational restoration

Photo creds: medium.com
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