Surrender is Stronger

Yes, the title is a contradiction, and yes, it is stolen from a song that is my new favorite “Undone” by FFH. I feel the title, largely appropriate given how I see this post beginning. Allow me to illuminate.

I’ve had a lot of time to think over the past few weeks between road trips, sleepless nights and random moments alone during the holidays. Therefore, it would only be fitting that I in my over-thinking nature would stumble upon some nugget of self-discovery. At the ripe old age of 23 (please note the intended sarcasm), I still have no clue who I am. Despite hours of counseling sessions in years prior, a few long conversations and many introspective forays, I am left in the dark on several crucial aspects of who I am. Now, I should clarify that I was not the one to point out this misconception, but God did give me the grace to understand the gravity of my brother’s statement the moment it left his mouth.

I have been told since I can remember that I am a quiet, patient and calm boy. To a degree, this is true, however underneath that, I at my very core am an oxymoron, a contradiction to my exterior. I am a quietly intense, passive aggressive person. Yes, on the surface I am rather calm, cool and collected, but underneath that, I am an excitable and ridiculous powder keg of a person.

Honestly, this explains a lot of the past 5 years. One-on-one, I am a person seeking deep conversation, meaning and a sincere understanding of the person on the other end of the dialogue. Alone, life must abide by the principle that everything carries with it a deeper meaning. In groups, I am an entertainer, typically relying on sarcasm and/or deadpanning which can leave me grossly misunderstood. I have to admit, often this is just my aim. I can also come off as horribly insincere given the right conditions. This persona clashes with the intrinsic need for depth of relationship and I have often been disappointed by people turned off to my more ridiculous crowd-induced persona.

What on earth does this have to do with anything? No, it is not my intent to blabber on about my personal life, as I don’t find that important, I assure you. I delve into the realm of vulnerability to encourage the reader down the path of self-discovery. I cannot tell you how many people I have seen finally tread this daunting path at the age of 40 or later, wishing they hadn’t waited so long. Yes, it’s a terrifying journey and it will only continue to be. The heart is a dark, dark place, but what do we have to lose? There is a lot that I would give up if only to understand myself. I think the value of being honest with yourself is infinite. If I cannot be honest with myself, then what hope do I have of being honest with another, especially the God I claim to love?

I think the person who has no sense of self is one of the few truly poor people in this world. I do not advocate a selfishness of thought or a complete inward focus, because that is foolish pride. However, I do wish to echo 1 Peter 1:5–8, where both virtue and knowledge are included in this list. We should supplement our faith with these two, where I don’t see any way of implementing virtue without introspection, and knowledge cannot be gained unless we understand what we do not know, thus also requiring introspection. If we do not know what within us is true, then we have no place to start. So, I am arguing here that a sense of self begins with an honesty within one’s soul. Without honesty, man is a piece of driftwood lost at sea.

The year is young. I think for many 2010 was a tough year, so why not begin this year down the fulfilling path toward discovery that can bring us closer to God? I mean, it’s just a thought…