“The trees are about to show you just how beautiful letting go can be.” ANON

I love autumn; the light, crisp, colder mornings, the colours in the trees, and the sun as it sets towards the end of the day.
I love autumn for what it demonstrates, that the letting go of a season is an important and healthy thing to do.

Letting go is hard; it’s one of the toughest things about life and leadership. Whether it’s a project, position or a person, whether it’s something that has been led and managed successfully, or something that has crumpled and died, when God says let go, it is hard, and it hurts. The act of letting go is much easier said than done. We have all had periods in life where we’ve tried to hold on to memories, people, positions and things, but as wonderful as it is to appreciate the past, we must learn to accept the fact that things change.

Everything has its season Ecclesiastes 3:1-22:
“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;…”

Jesus speaks about his own impending death and resurrection by saying John 12:24 “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”

Some of us think holding on makes us stronger as a leader but sometimes letting go is the strongest thing to do. It takes courage to allow something you’ve invested in to die. Just as the seed must lose its life to fulfil its ultimate purpose, so must we be prepared to lose or loosen areas in which we’ve led.

So how do we learn to regularly let go and let God into our leadership? I recently spoke on the passage in 1 Samuel 16:1 when Samuel was grieved and saddened by the disappointment of Saul’s disobedience to God. He loved Saul and had a vested interest in his wellbeing and his role as king of Israel. God said to Samuel “How long will you mourn? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way.” Samuel went on to anoint David as the new king.

This is a powerful scriptural example that offers us two learning points when it comes to letting go:

LAMENT AND LET GO – There is a time to mourn. This season has been relentless, it’s been tough and extremely difficult in so many ways. How can you make time to grieve well and process everything that has happened? It’s vital to find a time where you can safely let go of the ’Sauls’ and any other thing God asks us to put down. The willingness to sacrifice everything in order to follow Christ is at the heart of finding our leadership call in the new season. These things were never our to own for ever, so when God asks for them, let them go.

FUEL UP AND FILL UP- Our tanks are low. Every leader I speak to right now is low on reserves. Where is your Well? Look for the places of rest and restoration. How can you make time with God, mentors and trusted peers to gear yourself up to go again? As it was with Samuel, there are new leaders, new spaces and places to anoint. Get ready to fill up your cup as you look to the changing season. God is helping us to let go and then go again.

Let the Lord establish your steps Proverbs 16:9.