Editor’s Note: This article was written by guest author Dave Hernandez.
I surrender, I’ve given up fighting and I’ve never felt better!
You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought (Matthew 5:5 MSG).
The last two years of my life have been a real adventure. Accompanied by my wife and two sons we’ve travelled around Australia and lived on two different tropical Islands in the Indian Ocean. We love every moment.
One word describes this season better than others: transformation. They say travelling does that. When you’re away from home for extended periods of time, you return having experienced incredible adventures and nobody seems to really get what’s happened to you. They didn’t share the experience and cannot relate.
I’m hoping that you can relate to this post. If not, perhaps it can whet your appetite.
Traveling has helped the transformation, that’s true, but the real catalyst for our change has been God. We’ve sought Him in the secret place. We surrendered ourselves to his inner working like never before. It included dealing with pressures that revealed areas in our lives that needed healing. It meant we had to change our minds (metanoia) on many fronts. It wasn’t all fun and glory.
The process of transformation is showing some fruit now: peace, patience, kindness…. We enjoy a sense of harmony. We know who we are. The internal conflicts have stopped. My war is over. My wife can say the same. We are both loving this season as a couple and family.
It feels strange but oh, so good! It’s like walking away from a war zone where conflict still rages but feeling free. I’ve given up fighting now! I’ve given it up because I don’t need to fight. I have nothing to prove. I don’t need to be ‘somebody’. I don’t have to be right. I don’t need to prove that “my way is the best and only way!”
And I won’t let anybody draw me back into the war zone of their own troubled and dissatisfied soul, not even you… my friend, my colleague, my relative, my boss,… I understand your struggle, I’ve been there, but you won’t draw me into your own war. I won’t partner with you. You can try to make me feel bad so that you will feel better, but it won’t work. It’s not my battle to fight, it’s yours. I’m happy to show you where and how to find peace. I can take you to waters but can’t force you to drink. I’d like to teach you about how to find your identity without having to crush others around you. But I will not be drawn into the dispute you are having with yourself.
I know now that nobody is to blame for the conflicts I endured: friction within will breed disagreements without. It’s simple. And that’s why I know I don’t have to feel guilty nor take things personally when you want to draw me into your own battle. You can accuse me, misinterpret me, misquote me, be jealous of me and even reject me: I know you’re talking and acting from your own place of confusion and discord and I won’t join you there. You are fighting yourself, not me! I’ll listen, I’ll be polite, I’ll learn all the lessons I need to learn to be a better person and I’ll sincerely love you as much as you’ll let me; but I won’t take the bait. It’s your war. I’ve stopped fighting. I hope you will find your place of rest too.
Unfortunately, religion is a breeding ground for conflict borne from a never-satisfied quest for self-significance that’s already prevalent in the Adamic-referenced world. I sought to quench my thirst for identity through my own self-righteous abilities within a religious community. And so did everyone else: more or less! Knowledge, ‘better’ spiritual ‘encounters’, talents, abilities, latest revelations, doing ‘stuff’… all these things became ammunition in my battle for self-significance. I only mimicked what everybody else was doing! And in mimicking others I slipped further away from my real self. Jealousies, frustration and anger, are the offsprings of a starving orphan seeking to belong and to be someone.
To my surprise, I found myself through a process of self-emptying: the more I tried to become ‘significant’ the less I was; producing greater conflict. Conversely, the more I emptied myself, the closer I got to finding my “I AM” expression. The outcome is this: I know who “I AM” therefore I am no longer in competition with anybody around me… I don’t need to prove anything; I’ve found peace. And I can be at peace with you despite the battles that rage within your soul.
So, … I’ve walked away from the battle, my friend. I’ve surrendered to “I AM,” I’ve given up fighting and become a prisoner to my true identity in Christ. I hope you will too.
Dave Hernandez is an author, speaker and blogger. He has been a student, preacher and teacher of the Bible for 30 years. Dave is married to Laurence and has two sons. He is a lover of all cultural expressions. This article first appeared on Dave’s personal blog You can access the blog via: http://www.iamsonofgod.net/blog.html and http://iamsonofgod.blogspot.com/
Editor’s Note: Would you like to submit an article for consideration to The Raven Foundation? Find out how in the guidelines of our new section, “Your Voice.” Articles published do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the staff at the Raven Foundation, but are selected primarily because of the way they enhance the conversation around mimetic theory.