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Faithful Living

"“You have delighted us long enough.”— Jane Austen, “Pride and Prejudice” (1813)Perhaps you avoid daytime TV. Talk radio. The National Enquirer and the Internet. If this is the case, I have an interesting bit of news you may have missed: Kathie Lee Gifford bid Regis and her adoring Live! audience a fond farewell yesterday.Yes, it is true. Their 15-year gig is up. Tired of missing the opportunity to connect with Cody and Cassidy over toast before they jet off to school, Katie bid the guy who saved ABC good-bye. It’s hasta la vista, baby! She’s outa there.Now don’t get me wrong. When I have had time to catch her in the morning, I have enjoyed Kathie Lee’s interaction with Regis. I think she is attractive and can be downright funny. She has got great clothes and svelte arms I long for but never had, even when I was young and had little more to think about than exercising and trying to attract the attention of some cute guy. She has a capable team of voice coaches, nannies, promoters, hair stylists, attorneys and CPAs that recognize her ambition, energy, and ability to generate amazing salaries.She has also learned to couple conviction with courage — when her marriage hung by a string and shortly thereafter when it was first suggested that exploited children in far-off lands were lining her coffers. She continues to demonstrate grace under fire, to be sure, as few of the challenges in her life can be easily or instantaneously fixed.And yesterday she did what a whole lot of us have yet to learn: Occasionally, it is good to be a quitter.Kathie Lee quit while the going was good. She stepped away from a secure and robust endeavor that certainly will not fold come Monday because we all know the show must go on. She quit because the urge to step forward (while not knowing exactly which way to go) feels better to her than sitting on that talk-show barstool one more day.I feel sure that if we were to ask her, she would tell us that she is stepping out in faith, believing that the future can be happier and more successful than the past. May I even suggest that God is using her to make a very useful point to a whole lot of us: moving ahead and risking is far better than sitting — even if you dirty your shoes, stumble, worry, and question the directions. Even if you question the existence of a God who cares about little old you and considers you capable enough to change the world in some way.I have always found goodbyes rather torturous. I bond tightly to people and find joy in teamwork, planning, consistent contact and loyalty. I also find goodbyes particularly painful as I am not very good at keeping in touch. While I think about and pray for people on a regular basis, I fail miserably at letting them know. I do not have a support team that takes care of those time-robbing jobs like mopping the floors and preparing team snacks and hauling kids to music lessons. It is all I can do at times to take care of my own family’s immediate needs. Because there rarely seems enough time to write and call, sticking with a project means you can avoid all this guilt.It is also difficult to admit that we have limitations. We can only provide so much energy, talent and fresh new ideas. Letting go and calling it quits indicates that we have faced a brutal reality: it is someone else’s turn and they may shine brighter than we did.But saying good-bye with a nod to faith makes a great big statement. It says to the world that God is a part of your life. It says that you are working with diligence to be responsive to God’s leading. You are trying to incorporate His will into your life and discern where and when change is necessary because He deems it so.Most of all, stepping away from the routine and trusting God with your tomorrows opens up avenues of possibilities. You will grow in areas you never imagined and be enriched by people not yet known to you. You will learn that private dreams are often planted by a God drawing near. After all, you are His by appointment. There are people and experiences awaiting your touch, and His.Let go. Let faith. And live! ------------------Joan Bay Klope is a freelance writer and former editor of Christian books published by Gospel Light Publications. She can be reached at jbklope@hotmail.com. "

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