A couple of weeks ago I went on an entirely impromptu trip to Asheville with some friends. I had planned for that evening to be one of face masks and books, but what else can you do when adventure is presented but go and experience it?
There was a span of about 45 minutes where we almost kept driving and went to Charleston, but I guess we'll save that adventure for another day.
Anyways, it was a pretty laid-back trip that ended with us at the Cracker Barrel eating our body weight in biscuits. As we were leaving, two of my wonderful friends sat down in the famous rocking chairs and decided to play a good ol' game of checkers.
The game started easily enough, with moves and countermoves and strategy and loss. As it continued, though, it got to the point where neither player was willing to sacrifice its piece to end the game. Rather than one of them losing, the two shook hands and agreed to call it a draw.
While I was standing there watching, I got to thinking about how often situations like this happen. How often is it that I see the move that I have to make, but flirt around it looking for another way? How often is it that I refuse to sacrifice my checker piece, not wanting to give up control?
As I stood there thinking through it all, I realized that this particular game of checkers had everything to do with surrender. God wants us to give up our control to Him and allow Him to make the moves. But we desperately cling to the idea that we've got it all handled, and that our moves will be better.
The reality of it is that we all just end up wasting time and coming to the same conclusion as God anyway.
One of my church's pastors told us his favorite verse last Sunday, Galatians 2:20.
"And I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live in faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave His life for me."
If I am going to live this way, this total abandonment of self, then I need to daily yield to the Holy Spirit. I cannot make much of Jesus on my own. It requires me to put myself aside, surrender control, and allow Him to shine through.
Jesus loved me so much that He agreed to live a difficult life on earth and eventually die a terrible death for my sins. If He can do that for me, is it really too much of Him to ask me to surrender my own life to Him? Can't I trust Him with my whole heart?
Friends, we are a people who love to be in charge of our own destinies. It's American. But can you just imagine how much more wonderful and fruitful our lives would be if we just made the power moves He told us to make? Rather than beating around the bush, let's try to welcome what He has for us, willing servants to our King.