There’s a new year peeking its nose out from under the comforter, and its beady little eyes are peering at me, reflecting only its inner mystery and nothing of concrete assuredness. And I love it. I also hate it, but mostly I love it. And I’ve never made a New Year’s resolution, nor do I intend to this year, for I know I will just break it. I like goals instead, and this year I suppose I have a goal about goals.
For the last several months I’ve been thinking repeatedly about the concept of surrendering everything over to God, and usually I only consider the material concept of that, but this also encompasses that which is so infinitesimal it doesn’t even exist in layers beneath skin or in the humming string theory. It’s that which you know is in your heart, mind, and soul—the very dreams you carry with you, consider personal, and will do whatever you can to have them become fully realized in this life. These, too, one must surrender if his or her life is going to, in totality, emulate Christ’s incarnation.
And I don’t know if I know how to do that.
But I know I must do it because to not smacks of something utterly dangerous. It’s not just obese materialism we must hand over to Christ, but also our ideas, our hopes, our dreams. I have to be open. It’s just as dangerous—perhaps more—to take tight ownership of ideas as if they are one’s own possessions. An idea is not easily let go of. We give it part of our soul, a chunk of our heart. To abandon an idea is to lose a part of one’s self, or so it feels like at the time. But if plans, desires, and goals spawned from ideas are not the directions in which God would have you go, then it, too, is a section of the self that must be denied and set aside.
I’ve told myself for so long, subconsciously, that fruitfulness is directly tied to following the ideas I’m passionate about, and maybe that is still true. But what if it’s just not the right time? No legitimacy of an idea can stand if I try to bring it to fruition prematurely. I don’t know if this is what I’ve experienced so far in my time in Nashville, and I’m in no position to make such a prognosis. But I have a sneaking suspicion it might not be too far off of a hypothesis.
But there is always hope to cling to that one day dreams can become reality. For example, I believe that, for right now, my niche is to combine my passion for high school kids and literature by getting into a school system somewhere (anywhere) and teaching. I know my niche. I just haven’t found a way to get into it yet. But I continue to hope it will, one day, occur through both my efforts and the efforts of One unseen.
It is an odd thing to make “surrender” a theme for the beginning of a new year, and I’m not even entirely sure how I really feel about it or how much I’m really attempting it. Maybe that’s how goals usually are.