Diving in…

5475462260_875abce118_z

I’ve been called a control freak—a term I’m not very fond of. I like to think of myself more as cautious, wanting to hedge my bets, plan ahead, have contingencies and so on. There is a time and place for all of those things to be sure. And one thing I’ve learned about myself is that I have swung way out of balance in this area of my life.

I’ve been examining my relationship with control lately, and I’m learning some interesting things. First, my desire for control is waaaay out of proportion in my life. Either I want to be in control or if I can’t be in control, then someone else had better well be in control. I work pretty hard to stay in control of myself, of my surroundings, my circumstances and even other people. Yikes! That’s hard for me to say because that’s not something I want.

Of course I realize that the whole concept of control is an illusion. Control doesn’t really exist. Even when I think I’m in control, I know on a deeper level that I’m not. None of us are. My desire for control stems from a desire for certainty, which is a human need.

For me, the opposite of control is surrender. Surrender is not something I’m all that practiced in. I’m pretty uncomfortable with it, probably because I’m not all that experienced with it. I don’t spend a lot of time in surrender.

And yet in my life right now, I am being asked to loosen my grasp on my need for control and instead surrender. And it’s scary. It reminds me of learning how to dive as a child. There was something frightening about standing on the edge of the diving board and getting ready to dive in, not knowing what was going to happen when I hit the water. Was it going to be a good dive or a painful belly-flop? I never learned to dive properly as a child…I was too scared to let myself go, and take the leap.

Now that I am older and hopefully wiser, I still find the concept of surrendering to something outside of my control just as terrifying. In those times, the only thing that I can trust is the voice inside of me that tells me it’s time to take the leap. I know I’m going to be “in over my head” as soon as I do. And I also know that there’s no point standing too long at the edge over thinking it—I’ll just psyche myself out if I do. Might as well take the leap!

I think what is going to be important for me is to do it frequently. Do it often…this surrendering control thing. The more I do it, the more practiced I’ll get, and the more practiced I am, the fewer belly flops I’ll experience. Who knows, with enough practice I may even get addicted to the rush, and enjoy being tossed in that flow.

While I was thinking about this concept the other day, a song came to mind that I hadn’t listened to in years. “Dive” by Steven Curtis Chapman. I love the enthusiasm around the concept that comes out in this song. That is what I would like to mirror. I want to stop looking at surrender as something so scary and instead begin to enjoy it. To enjoy not knowing and enjoy surrendering to something more powerful than anything I can muster myself.

What about you? What areas do you find it easy for you to be in either control or surrender? Do you have strategies for embracing and enjoying surrender and the unknown?  Would love to hear from you. Leave a comment.

Listen to “Dive” by Steven Curtis Chapman by clicking here:

For a youtube version, click here

Lyrics:

“Dive”

The long awaited rains
Have fallen hard upon the thirsty ground
And carved their way to where
The wild and rushing river can be found
And like the rain
I have been carried here to where the river flows, yeah
My heart is racing and my knees are weak
As I walk to the edge
I know there is no turning back
Once my feet have left the ledge
And in the rush I hear a voice
That’s telling me it’s time to take the leap of faith
So here I go

I’m diving in, I’m going deep, in over my head I want to be
Caught in the rush, tossed in the flow, in over my head I want to go
The river’s deep, the river’s wide, the river’s water is alive
So sink or swim, I’m diving in (I’m diving in…)

There is a supernatural power
In this mighty river’s flow
It can bring the dead to life
And it can fill an empty soul
And give a heart the only thing
Worth living and worth dying for, yeah
But we will never know the awesome power
Of the grace of God
Until we let ourselves get swept away
Into this holy flood
So if you’ll take my hand
We’ll close our eyes and count to three
And take the leap of faith
Come on let’s go

I’m diving in, I’m going deep, in over my head I want to be
Caught in the rush, tossed in the flow, in over my head I want to go
The river’s deep, the river’s wide, the river’s water is alive
So sink or swim, I’m diving in, yeah
I’m diving in, I’m diving in, yeah
I’m diving in, yeah, here I go
Come on let’s go

I’m diving in, I’m going deep, in over my head I want to be
Caught in the rush, tossed in the flow, in over my head I want to go
The river’s deep, the river’s wide, the river’s water is alive
So sink or swim, I’m diving in

I’m diving in, I’m going deep, in over my head I want to be
Caught in the rush, tossed in the flow, in over my head I want to go
The river’s deep, the river’s wide, the river’s water is alive
So sink or swim, I’m diving in

So sink or swim, I’m diving in
So sink or swim, I’m diving in
I’m diving in
I’m diving in
I’m diving in

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *