My brother wants to tattoo these words on his wrist so he’ll never forget them. I need to tattoo them on my heart. These words are a summary of the third step in the AA 12 step recovery program and based on Luke 9: 23. In a word it means surrender to the God who’s in charge of every detail of our lives anyway. Christian psychologist and author Dr. Larry Crabb defines sin as “any effort to make life work without a total dependence on God”. That sums it up pretty nicely.
But what does it mean? It means living life free of all the self-hyphenated words like self-absorbed, self-motivated, self-will, self-assured, self-esteem. You get the picture, get self out of the way. It means giving up control of everything in our lives including our daily schedules, our wants and desires, our goals, our choices in where we live, the work we do, the friends we have, everything.
But how do we go from being self-absorbed to God-absorbed? Two words may help, focus and gratitude (thankfulness). To quote a line from the old “Ghostbusters” movie, “who ya gonna call”. When our focus is on God’s glory and God’s dream for a world ruled by love, then our own personal agendas slowly drift into irrelevance. When you’re working for the sovereign King of King and Lord of Lords who always has your best interest at heart and paradise awaits you, someone cutting you off in traffic, or not getting the raise you thought you needed or the vacation you had your heart set on don’t matter nearly so much.
And, as author Melody Beattie so wisely points out in the August 1 reading in her excellant devotional, ‘The Language of Letting Go”, gratitude (thankfulness) turns every person we meet, circumstance we face, failure we endure, illness we confront into something good and powerful and life-changing.
If we stopped long enough to honestly think through these 2 choices we’d see there’s really nothing to consider since nothing much in our lives has turned out the way WE planned it. So why don’t we give up on our way or the highway and try Let go and Let God and experience the exciting life God has in store for each of us. If God knows the very number of hairs on our heads, then surely He knows us a whole lot better than we know ourselves. And since He created the heavens and the earth, it stands to reason He knows what’s going on there better than us as well. It’s really a no brainer.