When Is The Time Right To Surrender?

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This week’s theme for Six Word Friday is “surrender”.   After having difficulty coming up with ideas, I was rewarded with multiple ideas.  So here are six lines of six words about surrender:

Surrender to this season of life.

Live each season as it passes; breathe the air,
drink the drink, taste the fruit,
and resign yourself to the influences of each.
~ Henry David Thoreau

Surrender to the moment – live life!

If you surrender completely to the moments as they pass,
you live more richly those moments.
~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Surrender to our dreams; express them.

Art is nothing but the expression of our dream;
the more we surrender to it the closer we get to the inner truth of things,
our dream-life, the true life that scorns questions and does not see them.
~ Franz Marc

Learning curve requires surrender of security.

Growth demands a temporary surrender of security.
~ Gail Sheehy

Never give up and never surrender.

Never give up. Never surrender.
~ By the character, Jason Nesmith
(played by Tim Allen in the movie Galaxy Quest)

Never surrender, said Winston Churchill.  Never.

Never give in–never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty,
never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force;
never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.
~ Sir Winston Churchill

Surrender is such a contradictory term.  We want to surrender to the fullness of our life and our dreams.  Sometimes we need to surrender our emotions and peace of mind, such as when learning something new or letting go of the old to accept the new in our life. It’s hard accepting change and making adjustments in our mind or personal culture for something that is nothing more than a personal preference for us.

And of course, other times we need to dig in and hold the line.  It may be something important to us, that others do not value.  It may be something fundamental to our beliefs and values.  For Winston Churchill, it was keeping a nation encouraged that they could beat the Nazi’s and keep their country from Germany’s tyranny when so many others had not.  That encouragement kept Germany out until the United States could be persuaded to join the war and eventually, Germany was defeated.

© 2012 dogear6 llcFor me, it was a big adjustment to parenthood.  I’d not planned on having a child nor had my favorite boy toy.  We were married five years before changing our minds on that.  I certainly hadn’t planned on going back to work after she was born.  But I did.  I had to.  I made 2/3 of our income before she was born and even working part-time, I made as much as my husband.

Many well-meaning Christians counseled me that it was not God’s will when I went back to work full-time.  Of course, they hadn’t prayed specifically about it but they knew better nonetheless. Without much grace, I eventually did surrender to the season of life of being a full-time employee and part-time mother.  I continued my friendship with very few of those people after I returned to work (in a later post, I expanded on my working full-time with a small child at home; click here to read it).

Eventually, the time came where I was making significantly more income than my husband.  He was an artist when we started dating and he continued to be highly creative, despite trying to go back to college and program computers for a living.  No matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t fit the mold of corporate America.

We surrendered to his creative talents and a few years after I returned to the workplace, he quit to be a stay-at-home father and artist.  I wish I’d had that opportunity, but the fact was I could make a very good living in corporate taxation and he could not as a low-level computer programmer without a college degree.

With some time and patience, we’re achieving what we thought had been surrendered.  I’m writing and taking pictures;  he’s a small business owner.  My creativity has increased and so has his business acumen.  He frustrates other artists when he talks about how much each picture costs that he sells and I amaze my co-workers when I carve out time to keep my blog and take photos.

There are times to give in and times to dig in.  Knowing when to do each is an art form all its own.  Prayer helps, as is openness to God’s “coincidences”  – those doors of opportunity that open and close or the people who show up when we need them.

As I finish writing this, I felt compelled to read Ecclesiastes 3, for its sage advice on when to surrender and when not to surrender.  There is a time and place for everything in life and we are wise to remember it.  After reading it, I thought you’d like to read it also.  I’ve made it double spaced for easier reading and contemplation.

There is a time for everything,

and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,

a time to plant and a time to uproot,

a time to kill and a time to heal,

a time to tear down and a time to build,

a time to weep and a time to laugh,

a time to mourn and a time to dance,

a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,

a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,

a time to search and a time to give up,

a time to keep and a time to throw away,

a time to tear and a time to mend,

a time to be silent and a time to speak,

a time to love and a time to hate,

a time for war and a time for peace.

Enjoy your weekend!  Live joyfully in the moment!  Look for God’s grace in everything you do and everywhere you go.

[For a continuation of this story, click here.]