Years ago, a friend of mine shared a pearl of wisdom. She said, ” Life with God can be summed up into two words: Acceptance and Surrender.” I accept the things I can not change and surrender to God’s will and guidance.
But it’s more than that, isn’t it? Not only do I get to release my efforts at control and forcing solutions that aren’t my business, I also must accept responsibility, a word I don’t care for too often, for myself, my actions and my impact on others. Mainly, I must accept my responsibility for my relationship with God. This is where things can get messy for those of us that naturally try to control our surroundings.
Let’s take the real example of the relationship among my husband and children. We are a blended family. My husband is my children’s step-father. I have spent the past 7 years of our lives trying to “help” them get along, to love each other, to understand each other. I do this because I know if they could just see what I see harmony and peace would be the result! Not so. What I’m really doing is meddling in relationships that I can’t control. I can’t control another person, and how arrogant of me to try!
God made each of us with a unique set of gifts, talents, passions and experience to do amazing things on this planet. I will continue to spend the rest of my life discovering what His will is for me and how I can use all of me for His good works. I already have a full-time job keeping up with me, my growth and my relationships. I don’t have the knowledge, understanding or power to direct the relationships in my family. I certainly don’t have the time!
I think it’s a misuse of responsibility to say we are responsible for everything and everyone. It’s a justification to play God. Yes, we are accountable to our brothers and sisters. And, we have a responsibility to the people and relationships God places in our lives. However, the principle at play as I understand Christianity, is love. Which means my job is to love you. There are many times when loving you means that I am giving you the dignity of your own experience. I am not stripping an opportunity from you, for example, to know God better by trying to convince you that your way is wrong. Which usually means that I think my way is right. How would I possibly know what is right for you when I don’t know what is right for me half the time?
Surrender, for me, is turning my attention away from expectations and outcomes and instead focusing on where God is at work in the situation. Surrender can mean not taking action, but surrender in itself is active. Surrender might mean stepping away from a situation that isn’t mine to fix. It also might mean acting on God’s guidance that I receive. Surrender always accompanies acceptance.
So today I take this pearl of wisdom into my day. I pray for God’s guidance and direction to help me accept the things I can’t change and the responsibility for those I can. I surrender to his will for me and I know He will give me the power and courage to carry out His will.
Take God with you today! I will.