Detachment, Relinquishment ... Letting go! No matter how you say it, it is hard but beautiful. And it is needed...needed, that is, in order to grow in the spiritual life. In fact, Jesuit Richard Rohr, says, "All great spirituality is about letting go." (Everything Belongs)
Our Lord Jesus was the One truly spiritual Person on this earth. And He was detached in a healthy way. He was detached because He was attached to Another ... to His Heavenly Father. All through the gospels, especially the gospel of John, we see and hear this truth clearly.
I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself. He does only what he sees the Father doing. Whatever the Father does, the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him everything he is doing.
John 5:19-20a NLT
As we saw in a previous post, Jesus didn't entrust His well-being to men but only to His Father.
... many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing. But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.
John 2:23-25 ESV
So for Jesus attachment was the key to detachment. And it is the key for us too! Author Adele Ahlberg Calhoun says, "Detachment finds its true home in attachment to Jesus only." (Spiritual Disciplines Handbook)
And that is where I believe we must start: otherwise all we are focusing on is the negative. The temptation will then be to try to accomplish spiritual transformation by our own self-effort. So what will constantly be in view? Ourselves!
But the way I read my Bible, I see a different emphasis.
Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth. For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory.
Colossians 3:1-4 NLT
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.
Hebrews 12:1-2 NLT
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 ESV
Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:17-18 ESV
These are just a few references to help us today refocus our view. The question then is, "What ... no, better ... WHO are we attached to?"
Brothers and sisters, let us study our beautiful Lord, love HIM with our whole heart, attach our soul's well-being to Him. He alone is worthy of our attention!