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Letting Go of Something Good

Updated: Sep 10, 2021

Say a heartfelt hello-and-goodbye to my Thai basil plant. I don't have what you would call a green thumb, or even close. So when my sister-in-law gifted us an aerogarden, I was pretty sure we'd kill all the plants in the first month. But to our surprise, the little plants shot up and grew. Fast. Especially this Thai basil plant.

So we had a thriving garden, but after a few months, I realized we barely used some of the herbs. A couple of them didn't grow much and started dying, and the biggest one, our Thai basil, wasn't the kind of herb we ate much. So I ordered more pods, like salad greens and kale, which would be more useful on the daily.

But when it came to replacing the herbs with the salad pods, I hesitated. What about this lovely basil plant? It was so full of life and strong. I couldn't get rid of that. I argued with myself for days. We tried the basil leaves in a recipe once and didn't like the flavor at all, so we never used it. But it was still so hard to get rid of because it grew so fast and felt like my greatest plant-growing success.

Finally, I decided to do it. I yanked it, roots and all, out of it's spot and planted kale in its place. I felt bad about uprooting this plant, as if I were cutting down a tree for no good reason. But we really never used it. It was taking up space, and, a few days later, I realized it had been taking most of the water and plant food from the other herbs, which kept them from growing as fast. So yes, it was hard to part with, but in the long run, it was for the best.

This sounds like a frivolous story, but hear me out. I think we all have "basils" in our lives. Something that isn't necessarily bad - it may even be good - but that keeps us from something better. This could be anything from clinging to a safe job that you hate instead of pursuing your dream, to going to a church whose doctrine you don't agree with but you grew up in, to dating a guy who has a couple red flags but is a Christian, so it's all good... right?

Just because something isn't necessarily a sin doesn't mean it's the best for you. Sometimes comfort is bad. Instead of starting something new, you hold onto the thing that isn't moving you forward. You keep at your mediocre schedule instead of trying that scary thing that might move you forward.

I know, sometimes it's hard to identify. Sometimes it's easier not to identify it. But what's best for you isn't always easy. Hebrews 12:1 says to set aside all the weight that ties us down, so we can run the race of life without extra burdens.

So what's your "basil?" What's something that's okay, good even, that's holding you back from something better?

PS: I ended up giving the plant to my gardening neighbors, and they said they're taking good care of it. So all's well that ends well.

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