I will happily admit that I like to have control over my environment and path. The past few years have definitely taught me that only God has the ultimate control over life and death. There is only so much we can do to control and while there are times that I can be “white knuckled” to have control, the sense of peace happens when I surrender.
Surrender does not mean to not take any action and let everything pass you by; it is the ability to accept the things you can’t change. If you use the Serenity Prayer as a form of meditation you will see that Surrender often leads to Serenity: “God grant me the courage to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. “ Once you arrive at that place of wisdom, you can surrender. Then the feeling of serenity closely follows.
As life evolves, many of us are faced with taking care of aging parents; changes in our marriages, kids leaving the nest and feeling the physical changes as we hopefully are gracefully aging. I want to be 23 again yet at times I really feel some of the aches and pains. So rather than complaining, I surrender and take the steps to take care of my well being by eating right, getting good exercise and only having 1 vice of my daily Starbucks Chai Latte. Once I let go of the other vices, my life became so joyful.
Aging parents are a big focus for many of us in my generation. My mom is 91 and while she can still have a very spirited conversation about politics or world events, her orthopedic issues make it harder for her to be mobile. I want her to be stronger and want her to be the woman towering over me when she was in her 40’s but that is just not what I have today. No matter how much I pray to God, the facts are she is 91 and though she is a strong woman who loves her independence, she has to adjust to a new path in her life. Again, I have to surrender.
When we can get to a state of surrender, we can really appreciate the present because we are not clouded with the need for control. That sure takes a lot of energy. While challenges come our way, God has a way of sending us these little gifts of gratitude that are all around when we take the time to pay attention to the moment.
So for this week, let’s practice surrender so we can find serenity. There is such pure beauty in those moments.