Lately I’ve been thinking about the idea of shaking loose. When we come indoors after being outside, we shed our coats and jackets. When a snake sheds its skin, it shakes loose the remains of what it used to be. After you’re done eating a picnic lunch, you shake loose the dirt and the crumbs off the blanket.
I once saw a prisoner get released from prison after his time was up. The handcuffs came off and the anklets were released. Like any prisoner you might have seen on TV, he rubbed his wrists and sat down to massage his ankles for a second. He flexed his hands and shook his left leg, then his right, and stretched his arms.
I wonder if he was shaking loose from more than just the handcuffs and anklets.
Our hearts and lives need to be shaken loose of things. Sometimes they’re like a jacket on a cold day, protecting us from the cold world around us, maybe too much protection. Sometimes they’re like handcuffs and anklets on our hearts – reminders of what we’ve done wrong and why we’re in that place. Our fears and anxieties and the opinions of others start to curl and tighten around different parts of our souls. Maybe it’s the sin that you keep going back to that’s anchored a hold in your heart.
But maybe the things that need to be shaken loose from our hearts the most are the dreams and hopes that we’re clutching too tight to us. Maybe it’s that daring first step or that idea that’s been bouncing around your head for too long. Maybe it’s the thought that where you’re at right now isn’t where God wants you to be.
Shake loose the fears. Shake loose your first step. Shake loose the sin that easily wraps its coils around us. Shake loose and be free.