This Is Too Much, You Take It
Today was one of those days.
I'm feeling the weight of quarantining a bit more today. Many of the people in my life that I care about are struggling. I'm doing the best I can, but I'm struggling, too.
I haven't been taking as good care of myself as I should be either. I need to exercise more, and eat less. But I'm stressed and I'm not doing well at either of those things.
In situations like this I tend to try to do more things, add more deadlines to my life, impose impossible expectations on myself and generally try to control everything I can.
I can safely report that this pattern is not working for me all that well right about now. Mostly because I can't control almost everything around me, and even if I could I'm not sure that I would make the right decisions.
I'm not telling you all this so that you will feel sorry for me--please don't. I'm in a far better situation that so many others.
I'm quarantining from a place of privilege with more than enough resources, a great job, awesome colleagues to work with and I'm confined with people I love in a house big enough where we all have our own spaces.
But still... when you are living in a constant state of disquiet with a low level feeling of anxiety, worry and a propensity for depression---things can devolve quick if you're not careful.
And to top things off, I had a huge blowout on my car tire at a terrible spot on the freeway that required a tow.
As I sat waiting for AAA to come and rescue me, I got to thinking about how I often share with people that one of the only things you can do when you are feeling overwhelmed and lost is to simply surrender.
I don't mean surrender as in giving up---quitting, checking out, you know... that kind of surrender. What I mean is the kind of surrender where you say to God, "This is too much, you take it."
Honestly, that's a pretty good prayer for all of us right about now, don't you think?
"This is too much, you take it."
I am beginning to realize that such a prayer is inherently an act of surrender. It's when you finally say to God, "I can't do this alone any more---you win." Or if you prefer it in more flowery, King James Version of the Bible kind of language: "Thy will be done."
And lest you start thinking that this kind of language sounds a bit defeatist, keep reading.
I recently read this amazing line from one of Richard Rohr's reflections, and it spoke to me today:
To many, surrender and letting go sound like losing, but they are actually about accessing a deeper, broader sense of the self, which is already whole, already content, already filled with abundant life.There's nothing cowardly or weak by turning to God (wherever you imagine God to be---for me it's right over my left shoulder), and simply saying "This is too much, you take it."
It takes strength to live in surrender---lots of it. But it's a different kind of strength...
It's the kind of strength that is open-eyed and vulnerable about the broken places and empty spaces that need to be filled by the Divine. It's the kind of strength that you to more easily let go of the wheel and trusts that God will not allow you to crash and burn.
It's the kind of strength that realizes that only by releasing the white-knuckle grip you have on things you will find there is more life on the other side of the letting go--more abundant and eternal life.
If you are feeling the weight of this quarantine right now... If you are struggling to let go and let God lead... If you are finding yourself withdrawing, holding too tightly, trying to influence all of your outcomes...
Try surrender... try letting go... try trusting that the One who loves you more than you could possibly imagine will not let you fall, will not let you go.
And may this give you hope. And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.