Surrender To The Sacred
One of the things I've noticed about myself as I've been sloughing my way through this coronavirus quarantine is that I haven't had the kind of discipline I hoped I would have.
When all of this started, I decided to look at it as a positive. I would read more, write more, set up a makeshift gym in my garage and work out every day. I wanted to eat healthy, go for more walks and maybe even dust off my bike and begin to ride again.
Instead, I find my days rushing by, and I feel like I'm working harder than I have in a long time.
I have a stack of books on my desk that I have wanted to read, but instead they sit there indicting me with their presence, accusing me of laziness. I ate peanut butter, jelly and crackers last night while watching a movie---after a whole bowl of cereal.
All of my workout aspirations have been just that---aspirations. My bike hasn't moved.
Based on the number of similar stories I've seen on Facebook lately, I think I'm not the only one who's experiencing angst over the fact that he isn't the person he wants to be.
While many of us are making light of it on the surface, there's a deeper sense of fear that we're masking as we ask ourselves, "Who am I, really?" "What is going on with me?" "Why can't I get myself together?"
I read this poem by the poet r.h. sin some time ago, and when I re-read it today, it spoke right into that deeper feeling of loss and self-doubt.
you know I've been losing me
for a while
my reflection appears partial
as I often feel less like myself
and further away from the person
I'd like to be - r.h. sin
As I am writing this, I am reminded of the lament by the Apostle Paul that he often does the things he doesn't want to do, and doesn't do the things he knows that should do.
He ends the whole thing with an exclamation, "Oh wretched man that I am!" I don't know why, but it makes me feel a bit better to know that the Apostle Paul, who wrote like half of the New Testament struggled with this, too.
I've been slowly making my way through Andrew Peterson's newest book Adorning the Dark, and this line really struck me:
I'm no longer surprised by my capacity for self-doubt, but I've learned that the only way to victory is to lose myself, to surrender to sacredness--which is safer than insecurity. I have to accept the fact that I am loved by God. That's it.It feels like I've been thinking and writing a lot about surrender lately, but there's obvious reasons for that, as you can imagine. But I love the way that Peterson describes surrender here as a "surrender to sacredness...."
If we are able to simply accept that we are loved by God, and to lose ourselves in that knowledge, we will find ourselves in a much different kind of head space.
Instead of constantly kicking ourselves for not being the people we feel we ought to be, we might find the resolve to let go of our insecurity and begin to see ourselves as God sees us.
Which in turn will help us be easier with ourselves when we fall short of our own self-imposed ideals, and perhaps even discover some new way of being our best selves---one that we never imagined.
May you surrender to the sacred today and every day. May you be easy on yourself, showing yourself grace and mercy in the moments when you feel weak. And may you be filled with the knowledge that you are loved by God in ways that you cannot fathom.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.