I want to talk today about the things we hold on to, and I want to start out, strangely enough, by telling you the story of the most famous snow globe in all of movie history. This is the snow globe from the 1941 movie Citizen Kane, which many people have never seen but is widely considered one of the greatest movies ever made.
The movie opens with an elderly man, the richest, most powerful man in the world, dying alone, without a single friend, in an enormous mansion. He clutches a snow globe in his hand, whispers the single word “rosebud,” and as he dies the snow globe finally drops and smashes on the floor.
The rest of the movie is a flashback, as we see a young child living a poor but happy life, suddenly whisked away to live with a rich family, and then as a young man rise to command a media empire, but eventually live to see every friend and every person who tried to love him be destroyed in the wake of his insatiable desire for wealth and power.
By the end of the film we realize the awful truth, that the snow globe represented his early childhood to him, with “rosebud” the name of his snow sled, and all his life there was a part of him that was holding on to that lost childhood, the happy childhood that was taken from him, holding on to it until it had eaten through his heart like an acid, leaving only a mangled vile hole that nothing could fill.
But to be clear, he didn’t realize any of this during his sad life. He couldn’t see the hole in his heart, and how it warped him and ultimately destroyed him. And although ultimately there were many influences that shaped him, the fact that a part of him never came to terms with how he was brought up, never let go of what he wanted his childhood to be, contributed mightily to his demise.
And so, I want you to think: what are you holding on to, and what effect is it having on you? Is it something from your childhood that is still influencing your actions, your fears, your desires after all these years? Is it a prized possession, a car, a house, a lifestyle? Is it a dream you held dear, like a wonderful marriage or a dream job, that never came true or did come true but then was shattered?
Anything that you’re holding on to, even if it was a good thing, can be holding you back from your what your future holds now and what your best life could be. What you hold on to too tightly will keep your hand unable to reach out and accept the next blessing that God wants to give you.
So, what are you holding on to? If you think that you’re not holding on to anything, you may actually be holding on to something so tightly and so deeply that you don’t even realize it. Give it some time and really sit with this question. Perhaps, after all these years, it’s finally time to let it go.