Today I explore the invitation while in the spiritual desert to embrace radical surrender – a challenging task for anyone, most especially those like me who revel in order and routine.
Thriving on Routine
I have a confession to make. I am a “J”. Now, let me explain what that means. In the Jungian inspired personality profile, The Meyers-Briggs, there are sixteen basic personality types. When I take the assessment, I score as an INFJ. The “J” is the “judge” in the assessment and while I can certainly be judgmental and opinionated, the “judge” on the Meyers-Briggs has nothing to do with judgment. Instead, it means that I thrive on and find comfort in routine, order and predictability. Alternatively, spontaneity, lack of routine and disorder cause me anxiety and stress. I am such a “J” in fact, that when I take the assessment, I answer EVERY question in this category appropriate to the “J”.
No Room for a “J” in the Desert
So, how do you think my “J” is faring during this time of spiritual desertness? NOT VERY WELL!!!!! Every single ounce of predictability, order, routine has been pulled out from under my feet. AAARRRGGGHHHHH! My inner “J” wants to run screaming in terror from this time of disorder. Fortunately, through years of spiritual practice and working in environments where my “J” has been forced to relax a bit so that I could learn to embrace a little flexibility in my life, I’m not as anxious as I once might have been. And it is a good thing because there is no room for a “J” in the spiritual desert.
Embracing Radical Surrender
Instead, I find that I am invited to embrace RADICAL SURRENDER. OUCH! Radical surrender means just that – no order, no routine, no predictability, thereby no safety and no security. OUCH AGAIN! Embracing radical surrender means that I have absolutely NO CHOICE but to live IN THE MOMENT. I have to take each moment as it comes and deal with what is presented. No planning. No anticipating. No organizing. No strategizing. And let me tell you, THIS IS A LEAP. But, apparently in the time of spiritual desert, there is no other choice. So, this is what I am trying to do.
The Benefit of Radical Surrender
While my inner “J” recoils at the idea of surrender, I am finding there are benefits. Strange, but true. I am finding that as I relax into this time of radical surrender, there is a peacefulness that comes in not planning, not anticipating, not strategizing. Strangely, radical surrender cuts way down on the worry factor…because in truth, there is nothing to worry about if you don’t know what is coming next. Radical surrender also allows me to take things simply as they come without falling into judgment. Surrender allows me to be more of an observer in my life rather than the judge and jury. Surrender also allows me to see more clearly the gifts that present themselves when I allow myself to let go and let God. So, perhaps there is something to be learned by my inner “J” as I move through this desert experience. It does not mean, however, that I don’t look forward to the day that I might again have some sort of routine in my life. AAAAHHHHH
Where have you been invited to embrace radical surrender?
What are the tools that have helped you move through that state?
What were the benefits?
Authentic Freedom Ministries