A movie came out back in 2006 (The Guardian). It was about a young mans journey through the Coastguard training program and his experiences shortly there-after. The Instructor tells Jake he has to let go of the past; the people who he couldn’t save. He and several of his close friends were driving home one night after a party and the car crashed. Jake was the only survivor. Here is the quote,
” And if I can’t answer that for me, I’m certainly not going to try to answer that for you. Have a seat. I want you to start being a member of this team. The team you have now. You have a gift Jake. You’re the best swimmer to come through this program, hands down, by far, and you’ve got a whole record board to prove it. But you know what I see when I look at it? I see someone fast enough who’s going to get there first. I see someone strong enough who’s going to last. I see someone who can save a life maybe no one else could. You really want to honor the initials on your arm? Then honor your gift. “Save the ones you can Jake. The rest, you’ve got to let go.”
“Save the ones you can.”
It’s important to remember that in life is insurmountably filled with people in need. We are called to help those people by using the gifts we’ve been given (1 Corinthians 12). Uniquely equipped with different passions and gifts, we are commanded to glorify God; taking advantage of the opportunities God sends our way. Looking back sometimes we can see the ways God prepares us, other times we can’t. Regardless it’s important that we step out in faith and use those gifts and passions we have been given. It might be feeling called to go work at a summer camp with children because you have that desire to work with young people, or it may be befriending someone who God has put in your path. Have faith and step forward.
“The rest, you’ve got to let go.”
The sad reality about our broken world is that no matter what, we can’t help everyone. We will fail. Opportunities will be missed because we are too busy helping someone else or helping ourselves. There have been many times in my life where I’ve spread myself thin, striving to help people work through difficult issues. I want to be there to support everyone I know, however, that can’t be the case. When we discover we do this we find ourselves maxed out; at a point of exhaustion and may look to God in our despair. We can’t hang onto the pain of this world, there’s too much. That doesn’t mean that we don’t acknowledge that what happened did, but accept the fact that we can’t help that person in that way. God provides, whether through us and through others; it’s self-centered and wrong to think that if we don’t act, God wont.
So, how do you distinguish who to save and who to let go?