Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Control (01/30/06)
TITLE: Swirl of Surrender
By Sheila Arnott
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This was the question I asked myself last Thursday night as I stood in the kitchen, gripping the counter so hard that my knuckles turned white. You see, I was tired. It was 10:00 p.m. and the end of a long, hard week. My normal work week as a Secretary is Monday through Thursday, with all of the evenings filled in with things relating to our three children (homework, piano lessons, choir practice, Jr. Chefs…you get the idea).
That day, I had filled in as a substitute teacher in one of the daycares owned by the lawyer who employs me. I agreed to do this as an attempt to supplement my income because my boss recently bought a house in Florida, and has taken to spending chunks of time away from the office. I am only permitted to work 2 of my usual 4 days a week when he is out of town.
Although I have 3 small children, managing 18 children ranging in age from 6 – 14, as I did today, was more draining than I had expected. The sole “quiet time” of the day was when we put in the movie “Pocahantas” for the kids to watch. Despite the fact that we own virtually EVERY movie made by Disney/Pixar, we somehow managed to miss purchasing “Pocahantas”, and so I was fairly interested in watching it.
As I watched, there was one part of the film that really struck me. Throughout the story, Pocahantas experiences a wind that blows around her. Little leaves swirl around her when it comes and her hair is blown about. The wind always appears to have a calming effect on Pocahantas, and she appears soothed and refreshed by it after it has done its dance around her and moved away. The most intriguing thing about her interaction with this wind, however, was how she seemed to surrender to it when it came…closing her eyes, letting her head fall back and even swaying a bit.
Even Pocahantas’ father, the Indian Chief, was touched by this wind at the end of the film. The Chief is about to lead the Indians into battle with the English Settlers, but the swirl of wind and leaves comes to him, and he too closes his eyes and surrenders to it. He declares that their “hearts should not be filled with hatred” and puts down his big stick. The wind then moves over to the other side and sweeps over the Settlers who, in turn, lower their weapons as well.
While I stood at the kitchen counter, exhausted and overwhelmed, I envisioned this wind swirling around me. I closed my eyes, breathed it in and let my body sway with it. In my mind’s eye, I saw the little leaves swirling in the air, soothing and encircling me and I imagined that this wind was God’s will. I did not try to think or act like a “Good Christian” but, instead, just surrendered myself to Him.
Romans 12:1-2 tells us, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Once I had paused to feel God’s will take control over my own, I let loose of the counter, allowed a few tears to fall and finished my work for the day. When I went to bed that night, I slept peacefully because, for that day at least, I was able to surrender my weariness, and my will, to God.
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