Surrender and move on

Life is not for the faint of heart. For real, this humanity thing is tough and full of cruel irony. We are taught our entire lives that we should work hard, dig deep, fight for what we want. Successful people are doers. So we toil away at this job or that goal. We work; we fight.

And that’s good, right?  Being a person that can “get things done” is looked favorably upon. “Yeah, she’s a real go-getter. I want her on my team. She’s got plenty of fight.”

But here’s the kicker.

You can’t get out of this life fighting.  In the end, when your time is up, there is only one way to move on.  You have to surrender.  You have to stop working, stop fighting and let go.

How counter-intuitive is that?  For years, 50 or 70 or 90, we are taught to work.  To push. One foot in front of the other.  Keep on keeping on.  Until, one day, we aren’t supposed to keep keeping on.  And as humans, most of us struggle to let it go.  Even for those people that are ready, that believe in an afterlife or who are just too tired to want to go on, the transition of putting the work down, giving up the fight, is terribly hard.

I get it, the idea that, especially as Christians, we move on by surrendering.  Putting our lives into the hands of Jesus.  That’s a huge part of the faith really, learning to surrender. I guess it’s good practice and probably makes the transition a little easier. But watching it all play out in real life is something else entirely.

It’s like a giant wheel that we work our entire lives to make spin. We grab it and force it forward, just like the prize wheel on the Price is Right. Faster and faster, we make it move.  Then, one day, we’re supposed to just make it stop.  Not just stop grabbing it and forcing it forward, but somehow make it halt. Stopping a lifetime’s momentum in a moment.

It seems cruel to me somehow.  How do you undo decades of programming in such a short period of time?  Even if the mind can comprehend what is required, surely the body has to be slower to get the message.  So people languish.  They hold on, not really knowing how to let go.  Fighting the largest battle of their lives- the battle of surrender. The reward is sweet, but it’s the hardest work we may ever do- the act of stopping.

It really does seem like one of the most cruel parts of this human life.  And the only way out.  Life, and death as it turns out, truly is not for the faint of heart.


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