Sunday, April 08, 2007

Sweet Surrender

Everyday we face an abundance of things, situations, irritations, inconveniences, ailments, even personalities beyond our control. While it is but human nature to react and try to change it according to what we deem best, some (if not most) of it are out of our hands. And we just end up sulking in the corner with frustrations on our side.

It is in times like these that I remind my self of Reinhold Niebhur’s prayer of serenity,

God, grant me the serenity
to accept the things
I cannot change,
The courage to change
the things I can,
and the wisdom to
know the difference

I have heard of this so many times before, but it is only now that it has pierced right through my heart, consuming every fiber of my being. As if, it spoke to directly me.

If we feel that we have done everything, if we feel we have given our best – and still to no avail, probably the best way is not to fight against it, but to work around with it. If we cannot control them or change them – according to our way, we must learn to let go and let God.

We have heard enough about stuff that tells us to keep going and never give up. To hold an have faith. To fight until we win… But what if in the end, the very thing we have hoped for was not really meant to be? Shall we continue the fight? Or give up, with faith?

At this point we all have varying needs and desires in our hearts. We may be wishing to live a different life we are living right now, or to have possession over something we can’t have, or even trying to get rid of something we already have (imperfect husband/wife, dysfunctional family, obstinate officemates, distressing disability, etc.). Whatever the situation is, we must learn to endure them cheerfully thinking, “God wills it, so be it.”

To quote Jim Eliot, “Don’t be physically present but mentally somewhere else, thinking of the future or of the past, thinking of some place else. Our journey with Christ requires that we may be fully present in the present.”

It is only by living a life of surrender that one learns to live by faith. This gives us the yield to center our attention on God- not on our frustrations, not on our problems, not on our destitution, not on what nor how we feel.

God’s plan is beyond our comprehension. Instead of asking why, ask what…. What is it that He wants us to learn (or do) in our respective present circumstances?