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“Knowing when to let go”

Pastor Rasheed Baaith

Pastor Rasheed Baaith

“Knowing when to let go”

By Pastor Rasheed Z Baaith

     “Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.” (Psalm 41:9)

One of the maxims of today’s generation is the phrase “keeping it real.” As it is used it can apply to everything from fashion to social behavior to family and friend relationships.

And when many of our young men attain a certain level of success, especially in professional athletics, “keeping it real” means having friends and family around them that have always been around them. But as the case of Sean Taylor shows us there comes a time when some friendships have to be let go.

It’s good to want to share your success with those who have watched you and supported you as you have become all that you and they have dreamed you could be. It’s good to open your home to those you grew up with, those who you have shared so much with. Not just victories but defeats, not just times of plenty but those times when you pooled your money and shared the food. Those with whom you shared confidences, hurts, pains, and dreams. It’s good to think those relationships will have that same dynamic all of your lives. It’s good but it’s rarely possible.

In the case of Sean Taylor I believe he was trying to show those who had always known him that his success as a professional football player had not changed him, neither had wealth or materialism. His door was still open, his heart was still in the hood, and he still loved his people. But while none of what he had now had changed him, it had changed his friends.

Perhaps understandably so. It’s hard for anyone to see a friend with wealth or a fine home or driving your dream car even when they share those things with you. Even if they were shared them every day. It’s hard because it is a fantasy and fantasies no matter how wonderful they are end where reality begins. The reality for Sean Taylor’s friends was going back to ordinary, mundane lives the moment they left his house.

The reality for them was they would never have the money he now had or possessed the bling or the cars he now owned. The reality was where once all they had for him was love, they now had pure envy. They wanted what he had even if that meant stealing it from him.

Did they still care for him?  I believe they did but over time what they once felt was corrupted by jealousy, resentfulness and a longing to have what Sean Taylor had even if it meant betraying him to acquire it. Remember too, they said they never meant to kill him, they thought he wasn’t home. Maybe. But what Sean had ate at them until they thought of and talked of nothing else.

The reality is that when we come from the streets we have come from, where our friendships seem cast in concrete, where we tell each other that no matter who makes it to the top, he takes everybody else with him, it is a lovely dream seldom able to be made real.

If we are able, we are better off gifting family and friends with some monetary gift of our success because while that success may not change us, it will surely change them. As much as it pains us there are some friendships we have to end. Think about it.


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