2020 has been a year of testing. It has tested our patience, our faith, our hope, our optimism and our understanding. In many ways, it has opened our eyes to truth, but in others it has left us blinded and confused.
Perhaps one of the greatest struggles of 2020, however, has been a feeling of lost control. Indeed, the COVID-19 pandemic and all its ramifications — lockdowns, virtual learning, working remotely, travel restrictions, etc.— has largely been out of our control.
As humans, we like to think that we are in control. Having control gives us a perceived sense of purpose and significance. While we each certainly have agency over our lives — particularly in our thoughts, attitudes and reactions to circumstances — to assume that we are, or always can be, in complete control is to overlook the mystery and complexity of life and of being.
As we head into 2021, perhaps the best thing we can do is to relinquish control and surrender — not to the hate, not to the violence, not to the chaos, not to the injustice. But, to God — the giver and benefactor of life.
Below is a poem that speaks to this surrender, and to the recognition that we are but mere creatures in a vast, mysterious universe, governed by a Creator whose wisdom and understanding is more infinite than ours.
A Covenant Prayer in the Wesleyan Tradition
I am no longer my own, but thine.
Put me to what thou wilt
Put me to doing, put me to suffering.
Let me be employed by Thee or laid aside for Thee,
Exalted for Thee or brought low for Thee.
Let me be full, let me be empty.
Let me have all things, let me have nothing.
I freely and heartily yield all things to thy pleasure and disposal.
And now, O Glorious and blessed God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
Thou art mine, and I am thine.
So be it.
And the covenant which I have made on earth, Let it be ratified in heaven. Amen.