Surrender to God and he will do everything for you. Antiphon in the Liturgy of the Hours Office of Readings for Tuesday of Holy Week.
I can easily forget that God is in charge. In my relationships, my work, my volunteer activities and life in general, I can think that I am running the show and that everything depends on me. And then I can feel burdened, pressured to perform and sometimes overwhelmed.
Breathe, Madeline, I tell myself when I am feeling overwhelmed. You are not God. Everything does not depend on you. Surrender. Let God be God. Trust God.God reminds me all that I do really belongs to God. I have a part, but it is just a part. My job is to add my piece to bringing about the Kingdom—in some small way. I need to remember that God holds the whole picture.
Letting go and believing that God really is in charge challenges my trust and control issues.
I am a doer by nature, someone who jumps in and gets things done. I like accomplishing things, and I like challenges. The bigger the challenge, the more I enjoy it.
There is a line, though, between using my gifts and talents to further a mission and believing that my gifts and talents are the only thing that can accomplish the mission.
My personality type on the Enneagram is the Eight, also known as The Challenger. The Eight is said to be “powerful, dominating, self-confident, decisive, willful and confrontational.” Oh yeah, that’s me for sure.
God seems to play off my Eightness, my innate love of a challenge. My work life has been a succession of small nonprofits that were facing uphill battles. It is as if God hears me repeatedly saying, “Put me in, Coach,” even though I don’t remember ever saying it. But, once I am in, I am all in, taking responsibility and getting things done.
When I start to feel overwhelmed, though, I know that I have moved from being a doer to being a controller. It is then that I need to surrender to God and trust that he will do everything for me. It is then that I need to remember that God is really in charge.My goal is to keep balance—to acknowledge my gifts and skills while remembering that the work is ultimately God’s. When I can let go and trust that God is in charge, my work and my life run smoother. Obstacles diminish; perspective is restored.
A Biblical image that helps me regain balance and trust is of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who were put into a fiery furnace because they would not turn from God and bow to the King. But rather than being burned God sends an angel to deliver them because they trusted God (Daniel 3:95)
Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, who sent his angel to deliver the servants who trusted in him. God, send your angel to me.