I say let me never be complete. I say let me never be content. I say deliver me from Swedish furniture. I say deliver me from clever art. I say deliver me from clear skin and perfect teeth. I say you have to give up. I say evolve and let the chips fall where they may.
Recently I have felt the need to give up to God. To surrender. To sacrifice myself, maybe.
I read recently the bit where Jesus says we should take on his yoke (Matthew 11.29-30), and I feel like I’m starting to have some way of understanding that.
When I give up to God I feel free.
What? Weird, I know, but I do – when I give him control I feel free of the “yoke” – the weight of trying to do things which are impossible, like controlling my life and doing the right thing every time.
The other day I said to God in the morning that I gave that whole day to him and he could use me for whatever he wanted. I spent most of the afternoon locked in a really unpleasant argument about Christianity with some of my colleagues, which left me pretty bruised, but which I think was what God wanted me to do that day (I didn’t start the conversation at all). What could be more relieving for a Christian than feeling that God is going to guide you the way he wants you to go?
That kind of bittersweet experience is exactly what I get from Jesus’ stuff about the yokes – you give up one yoke to take on another, but it’s better than the first one, but it’s still a yoke, etc.
This is going to sound pretty weird to some people, and it’s certainly a new thing for me to trust God that he wants the best for me, and I’m sure it won’t last, but hey, maybe you should try giving up to God.
In a way it is quite like the quote above from Fight Club. The relief of letting go and letting the chips fall as they may, of giving up trying to control and allowing God to work around you – it’s good when I do it.
Of course it lasts about 5 minutes for me before I start prising back control, but we all have to start somewhere, right?
So every morning I say the same thing to God – I give you today and you can use me how you like, and I try to mean it, and I wait and see how the chips fall…
Amen to that. I think that’s the hardest thing, letting go. We’re always told we’re responsible for running our lives and making them a ‘good investment’ etc. and I find it almost impossible to relax and let God take control. I’d much rather rely on myself to make my day successful, by rushing into my work, which relieves the pent-up energy and tensions about not DOING, not ACHIEVING. But it easily ends up snarling up, being frustrating and leaving me feeling hollow, drained and pointless. Rather than taking even a moment to ask God to guide me and help me.
I’m reading a book at the moment (which I was going to refer to in “my next article”) about guidance. One point it makes is that guidance isn’t just about getting an answer from God when you’re faced with a major decision – it’s your whole life, lived in friendship with God.
And the sermon in church last night was on Gideon. I hadn’t really noticed the point of it before – it’s fine that he cut down his army to 300 when God told him to, but what does he do as soon as the Midianites collapse? He calls in loads of reinforcements (Judges 7:23-4)
Then in chapter 8 he starts taking revenge on his own people, and then sets himself up as king even though he says “the LORD will rule over you”. He calls his son ‘Abimelech’ = ‘my father is king’. And he creates an ephod – which was connected with determining God’s will – and puts it in his own town – like a permanent fleece.
The moral of the story is – God brings success out of our weakness when we trust Him and let go, but after that it’s easy to clutch everything back and depend on ourselves and not God.
and there was a Christian answer to this poem somewhere – probably in “What’s So Amazing About Grace?”
PS and not just rushing into working, but rushing into socialising. I think “Hmm – maybe I should spend some quiet time with God first”, but I rush off to the bar and then later I think “What benefit was that conversation to anyone?”
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