I’m giving up my rights to myself.
I’m giving up on knowing.
I’m giving up on what I think should be. I’m giving up on what I think should be for others. I’m definitely giving up on my very specific picture of what it looks like to be the church, to be a follower of Jesus.
I’m not giving up my God. I’m certainly not giving up on my faith.
I’m giving up my rights to know,
I’m erasing the pictures that I’ve painstakingly crafted, down to the last detail.
Last Sunday I heard a sermon while visiting Alabama about beauty for ashes. The whole sermon was incredible, but one line shouted louder at me than the rest. It was regarding the concept of being a living sacrifice, and the pastor said, “because we offer a living sacrifice, we can crawl off the alter anytime we want.”
I knew we needed to let God burn off the excess in our lives, to refine us for his glory. And although I got the connection between sacrifices and refinement, I had never quite pictured myself crawling off (or on) to the altar of sacrifice.
But that’s exactly what God requires.
If I’m truly going to be a “living sacrifice,” that’s a choice I need to make daily, well, hourly, um, every moment. To “offer myself” as a sacrifice is a very passive posture. To offer means that the recipient may take me up on the offer, or he may not. I might be used the way I imagined, I might not. I might have plans that come to fruition as I expect, or I might not.
So I’m giving up on knowing.
And as I let the picture erase and I open my fist to hold my palm flat, I find something surprising.
The picture develops–but not as I expected.
My hand is full–but not of what I imagined.
And because I choose to give up and give in, again and again and again and again
I am free to be delightfully surprised.