Very often we feel we cannot do something. It will just be beyond our capacity or ability. And we will simply not pursue it. Some of those things may be unimportant (at least for us), but other things are more important.

Too often those things are not so un-doable as we think. Very often it is just a mental block. And in many cases, it is the “mental” block that holds us back.

On November 12, 1859, a French acrobat named Jules Léotard performed the very first flying trapeze act at the Cirque Napoléon in Paris. As a teen, Jules tied ventilator cords over his father’s pool, where he practised his midair manoeuvres. His new art form wowed circus audiences, in part because it was done with no safety net. His close-fitting outfit caught their attention too! Jules Léotard is responsible for—you guessed it—the leotard.

The trapeze quickly became the featured act of the big-tent circus because of its inherent intrigue, the faultless timing necessary to pull it off, and the beauty of aerial ballet. In traditional trapeze, the flyer and the catcher climb tall ladders to small platforms, approximately forty feet in the air. The flyer has a fly bar. The catcher has a catch bar. And when it’s time for the flyer to let go, the catcher gives the signal.

Miguel Vargas is a fifth-generation circus performer who does training for Cirque du Soleil. According to Vargas, who’s been a trapeze artist since age seven, the greatest challenge when trying a new trick is the mental block—it’s hard to let go of the fly bar because you’re about to do something you’ve never done before, forty feet in the air.

Letting go of the fly bar goes against every natural instinct, and the same is true of living generously. Our natural inclination is to hold on to what we have with tightly clenched fists. The mental block? Again, enough is never enough! You’ve got to overcome that mental block if you’re going to let go of the fly bar and flip the blessing.

Is there something you need to let go of? Is there something you’re holding on to out of fear, not faith? Like the Rich Young Ruler, you may think your savings account is your safety net. But it may be the very thing keeping you from flying. Or maybe you’re safeguarding your time instead of volunteering it. Perhaps it’s time to let go of your time, talent, and treasure in greater measure and see what God can do!

“I have held many things in my hands, and I have lost them all,” said Martin Luther. “But whatever I have placed in God’s hands, that I still possess.”

Taken from “Double Blessing” by Mark Batterson.

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About the author

Bennie Mostert
By Bennie Mostert