In the movie Dan In Real Life, Dan is a dad considering what to say to his daughter as she graduates from high school & heads out into the world. As he does so, he starts to examine his own life, & how often it surprised him, or failed to meet any of his expectations. So, why is it that we’re always asking graduates what their “plans” are? Why do we try so hard to prepare for what’s coming, when in reality, we know there is no adequate preparation? Whatever happens will probably come as pretty much…a total surprise. While plans & dreams can be great things, our expectations of what we think our lives are supposed to look like so often constrain & disappoint us. We often hold these visions so firmly, & cling so tightly, that it makes it difficult for our hands to be open to other great things God has intended for us.
Corrie Ten Boom, survivor of the Holocaust & author of The Hiding Place, said it this way: “I’ve learned to hold things loosely. I don’t like it when He has to pry them from my grip.” Living a surrendered life is not easy, but it IS what God call us to do, & it must be done over & over again. In his Superpower Poem, Steve Gross states: “Openness to what is can take us far. Suffering is rooted in wanting things to be different than the way they are.” How true this is, & how grand it would be if we could live each day as small children: open to whatever the day brings, playful & joyful in the opportunities that come, ready for adventure…all simply because they’re trusting in the good things they know their parents have prepared. “It isn’t that I cling to Him, or struggle to be blessed. He simply takes my hand in His, & there I let it rest. So I dread not any pathway, dare to sail on any sea, since the handclasp of my savior makes the journey safe for me” (unknown). It’s safe, we can trust Him…so let’s consider willingly surrendering our expectations to our Lord, & live prepared…to be surprised.