There is a blessed point of consciousness one can get to which absolutely improves the quality of life.
It’s called surrender.
Seun Adebiyi, an Nigerian who trained to be on the Olympic skeleton team but now has been waylaid by leukemia, said something powerful in an interview: He said that his illness is rather like skeleton. “There is a time for all out effort, and there is a time for surrender.”
Surrender he must, because he must receive treatment for his leukemia, including a bone marrow transplant. He will be in isolation for at least six weeks. He can do nothing but surrender. Until that time, he is working to get people to give bone marrow for transplants. Then, he goes into treatment, and refuses to look on his illness as a pothole in the road, but rather as a command to surrender.
I have surrendered as well. I think that’s why 2012 seems to much like a breakthrough for me. All my life, and into my adult life, I sought to be in groups that did not receive me. I was always trying to make myself fit in.
I didn’t. No matter what I did.
In my adult professional life, I worked again to be a part of “the group” of preachers that got lots of invitations to speak. Didn’t happen, and I agonized for years. I worked to model my church after the church of a person whom I admired deeply. Didn’t work.
I felt not like a fish out of water, but like a fish that been born on land and had never known water.
Well, after so many years of trying to “fit in,” I had an “aha” moment. It started with a realization that with struggling to fit in, I didn’t know who I was, nor did I know what God really wanted me to do. It took me forever to learn that the answers I was looking for were not going to come.
It hit me, finally, that I was asking the wrong questions.
When I finally stopped trying to “fit in” with kids at school, I had peace. When I finally stopped trying to “fit in” with the group of preachers I so admired, I found peace. And as I began to discover who I was and what I am to do, I had more than peace. I had joy.
The more things change, the more they remain the same. I tried to fit in because I never fit in even with my family. There was this hunger…
But thank goodness for age and the wisdom it brings. A few years ago, I preached on New Year’s Eve that there is a difference in one’s spirit when one says “I’m tired,” as opposed to saying, “I’m done.”
When one is tired, there is an implication that a fight will continue,albeit wearily. But when one is “done,” finished, through, there has been a completion of a sentence. A period has been placed at the end of the sentence, which has been way too long.
I have surrendered. I am through, done, and it feels so good. I have moved into my place, the place, I guess, God had waiting for me all along. It’s a bit dusty from not having been visited often enough.
But I am cleaning up that space and making it my own. I find that I do not have the same questions, nor to I crave the same answers. Bigger than that: I don’t want answers to those questions at all. I am making new friends. I am exploring the house in which “my” room sits. I didn’t know the house was so large. So many possibilities…
I surrendered, finally. And I feel good … finally.
And that is surely a candid observation!