I have been trying to find a word to describe how I feel when I say things like, Lord, you can have it all or “I surrender” or “Take all of me” or “I submit to your authority”.
This goes against everything I’ve ever learned to be. Cool, composed, and assertive. It goes against all the conscious decisions I’ve made. Reckless abandon.
When you’ve been burned a few times, you’re not really in a hurry to “let go and let God”. You let God, yes. But you don’t let go, unless there’s a harness. A life jacket. Something.
Earlier this year, my friends and I went on an obstacle course. It was one of those things where you don’t think you’re going to make it, yet somehow you do. You leave feeling good about yourself, but you know you might never return (and that’s okay).
There’s a particular obstacle on that course. A swing. You are required to let go of the swing long enough to grab the next one, while it is still swinging. Common sense would tell you to wait on it till it calms down before you try to get onto the next one. In reality, the longer you stay in place, the more it swings. In this case, obstacle course instructions trumps common sense.
While you hang in the balance, swinging your life away, there comes a moment where your fear of being stuck on that swing for the rest of your life, overcomes your fear of falling to your death (which is highly unlikely because of the harness). You finally listen to the instructor mid-swing and let go. It’s almost instinctive how your hands find the next rope. You’re shocked.
It was easier than you imagined. You were stuck there for so long because you thought you knew better. Dumb dumb dumb. Yet, you’re relieved. You’re glad you didn’t know better. You’re glad obstacle course instructions trump common sense.
I kept coming back to that moment as I thought about life, faith, relationships and family.
On one hand, I could say that I let go because I trusted the harness, not because I trusted the instructor. On the other hand, I could argue that I trusted the instructor because I felt the harness holding me oh so snugly that I knew I wasn’t going to die. Either way, for one brief moment, I let go.
I. Let. Go.
No matter how often I talk about my inability to trust wholeheartedly, that brief moment reminds me of the fact that, I am capable of trusting. Of submitting. Of letting go and letting God. It might have been under duress, but it happened anyway. So it counts.
I like to think that faith happens like that sometimes. Sometimes, it happens under duress, when you have run out of options and your only choice is to let go and trust. Trust God. Trust that he’s going to catch you if you fall, but knowing that he would rather you didn’t.
It’s funny because, while I was hanging in balance analyzing all my life choices, a friend of mine was easily gliding through the obstacles. She was graceful even. Barely breaking a sweat. She’d been there before. Twice. She’d seen it all before. She’d learned how to let go. She knew she won’t fall. She knew.
Imagine how I felt looking at her go, wondering when I too would be able to do that, yet stuck on the swing because I’m too afraid or stuck in my ways. How did I think I was going to exercise my trust muscle without actually trusting?
Like the instructor, God will patiently wait for you to let go. Rooting for you along the way.
These are my thoughts this morning as I go about my daily activities.
How is your morning going?
Nana Agyeiwaa Nyameba