Ultimate Surrender.....

- Private group -
July 1, 2014

I sit in church watching witnesses and parishioners come to the Alter for prayer, hope and forgiveness.  Some fall, some cry, some dance and some simply smile.  You see the sense of relief pour over them as the music ministry accentuates the atmosphere with peace and hope.  You really can’t help but be moved by the display of devotion in the sanctuary for the sick and hopeless.  The Pastor of the place often shares his thoughts about how this is really a spiritual hospital for those who have fallen and can’t get up.  The broken, defiled, depressed find reprieve and redemption here and being the slight intellectual that I am I process the outpouring of love through analytical eyes.  I can’t help it even though I grew up in the church I’ve had my doubts about discipleship, questioning faith, my faith, the essence of faith in all its instances or occurrence.  I wonder is this faith thing real? Then without warning the pastor calls me up to the Alter to witness about the time I first met him at the homeless shelter when I was on the verge of being homeless…

Have you ever watched those MMA fights on cable, now they even have woman going hardcore knuckle to knuckle within a cage of steel and concrete.  The battle that ensues is sweaty, bloody and brutal as they kick, punch and choke each other without mercy.  If the microphones were close enough you would hear ribs break and noses shattered with the soft fleshy crunch of bones beneath flesh and muscle.  If the show was in 3D I would flinch with the sight of blood and teeth flying towards my face.  The intensity of the fight hypnotizes me with horror and disgust as I watch till the very end where one woman is on top and the other is struggling below.  I watch unconsciously gritting my teeth as the weaker female tries every maneuver the escape the death grip the other has on her leg and arm.  You can see her eyes bulge and water with the escalation of excruciating pain pressing down upon her limbs.  My imagination swears it could hear the girl’s bones actually creak and groan and I wonder if she is going to be a crippled casualty of this cage match.  Then abruptly you see her arm flop frantically up and down off the mat signaling surrender and I sigh with relief as if my own bones were being broken and tortured.

Some people may view the fighter’s failure as a defeat but is it truly a tragedy?  When we hit our limit and find ourselves still losing altitude how do we survive the impact of the ground?  I mean we are talking about a forty story fall where the crash creates a crater of broken bones, dreams and even faith.  The rooms of A/A call this rock bottom but I don’t believe they are talking about a physical manifestation of misery but a spiritual devastation of our belief system.  But can you imagine what would’ve happened if the fighter didn’t surrender?  She most likely would’ve been crippled the rest of her life, trying to win a battle that permanently take her out of the war.

She tapped out to save herself from continued suffering.  She tapped out to learn more skills strengthening her body, mind and spirit for the next fight.  She tapped out because this particular test needed to be taken again!  I think people get confused believing the moment of utter destruction is the external condition that changes us.  I mean don’t get me wrong we are a stubborn, hard headed people and pain is part of our learning process, but true sincere change comes from the personal sacrifice of our pride to surrender…

When I walked up to the pulpit nervous with vulnerability of my testimony, I stuttered while sharing one of my most painful memories.  On the edge of being evicted I was so full of pride and anger resenting the world, God and myself.  I did not want to accept help if it wasn’t part of my plan.  The complete stranger told me that God wanted us to meet and that things were going to be OK, immediately I thought he was another crazy preacher man.  Unbeknownst to me at the time I had surrendered to letting a little bit of hope creep into my life.  Years later I’ve watch my faith in people, in God and myself; grow beyond my fears and bitterness.  I may appear reckless or even courageous but truthfully it’s neither.   I’ve simply found the secret of ultimately surrendering.  I know that defeat is defeated if I choose to see my downfalls as a necessary experiential lesson for my life.  It is a scary insane strategy to continue believing immersed in our burdens.  Please don’t misunderstand it is not faith in your plans or schemes for success; it is faith that there is a plan we just haven’t found it yet.  This idea opens us up to change, adaptation, evolution of our perceptions.

Unfortunately order to embrace change we have to surrender to it, letting go of all we think we know to learn something new!  When we resist exchanging old ideas for new we risk being broken and crippled, painfully pinned by our own outdated survival skills that no longer serve our needs.  Will you continue to live barely breathing, choked out by your choices or do you have the humility and ability to surrender, to truly living again?