Cease Striving: The story of a dream

Last night I was laying in bed about to fall asleep when a scene started to play out in my mind. I paid close attention to it, for there was something rich and good in it for me. The scene played out a little like this.

I was running, working very hard, pushing myself to run away from something. I could not run very far, for I was attached to a long bun-gee chord. The chord was attached to something in the ground and I was wearing a large harness with a round circular piece which came out from my back as though I were a christmas ornament.  The large bun-gee chord had a latch on the end which simply latched onto the circle on my back. It was heavy. The metal pieces were large and the weight of them was too much to bare. So I ran. I ran to get out from under their weight and I worked hard to see if I pulled hard enough that I’d be able to free myself from the chord.

The harder I’d run, the more violently I’d get pulled back. I felt like I was playing one of the games high schoolers and youth pastors play. You know the one where an individual would choose to put on a harness and attach them self to a chord and run, knowing at some point they’d be snapped back. Although in this game, the individual was surrounded by soft padding that made the game fun. In the version being played out in my mind, there was no such thing as padding and I was getting snapped back with brutality every time.

I knew if only I could work harder or faster or more effectively that I could work my way out of the entrapment. But the harder I tried, the more frustrated and hopeless I became. My striving was doing me no good. In fact, my striving was actually hurting me.

Then I heard a voice, “Cari, stop striving, go back to the source of the rope and sit, do nothing. Know that I AM God.” I knew the voice. It was the voice of God. I’d heard it before. But what He was saying made no sense. How was sitting going to do anything for me? How was walking back to the source of my entrapment going to help at all?! But I chose to listen and obey the voice.

I walked slowly to the source of my entrapment. The weight of the harness, hook and latch caused me to walk in a slump. I felt the pain of my striving as I walked. I had some how become numb to the injuries I’d acquired along the way. I was working so hard to be free that that drive and striving was louder than the shouts of the pain my body knew. As I walked, I felt the pain. It was real, with each step I felt it with increased intensity. I became angry. This thing has had me long enough! I began to shake the bun-gee chord with intensity, just hoping I could shake it off of me.

I felt trapped.

I couldn’t come out from under its weight. I’d been trying all of my life. Yet I could not work my way out! How was going to the source of my entrapment going to help anything? How was sitting going to get me free? But I trusted the voice and continued walking.

I soon made it to the source. I sat down like a pouting child put in time out. I criss-crossed my legs and rested my head on my hands and waited. My posture was one of defeat and objection. I said, “Okay, I’m here. I’m sitting! Now what!” Questions flooded my mind. Did I really hear the voice of God? Maybe I was wrong, this was a stupid idea! How is sitting going to accomplish anything? How is doing nothing going to give me the freedom I’ve wanted for so long?

I then remembered the final instructions. Know that I AM God.

I said to the voice in a whisper and almost in slow motion, “I know I am not God.”

The feelings in me changed. I was no longer pouting and afraid. My wiggling to get this stupid weight and chord off of me stilled and I sat. I sat perfectly still. I realized something profound in that phrase. I realized that I was not God and I could not save myself from that which so easily entangled me. My striving was only furthering my injury.

I then sat with a sort of reverent awe and fear. What was going to happen next.

I again spoke to the voice, “I know that You are God.”

He was God over all of me and He would be the God of my freedom.

Just then a hand came out of the heavens. I felt a great peace and a gentle strength that calmed my soul. The hand reached down and unlatched the hook from my back and gently laid it aside.  Every part of my body was feeling an overwhelming feeling of peace, freedom, calm and most of all love. In that moment I knew perfectly the touch of the Almighty. He picked me up and I began to move around in disbelief. Was my entrapment truly over? Was I really free?

My body felt lighter and I began to run around like a child on recess. I tasted freedom. I felt it. My striving was over. That which kept me in  bondage was no longer keeping me. I turned around to see the hand that freed me and it was gone. I knew His presence. I felt it. I sensed it, but I did not see it.

Freedom.

“Cari, stop your striving, go to the source of your injury and sit and know deep in your being that I AM God.”

The voice was true. It led to freedom.

So I share this scene with you and hope that you too can hear the voice of God as you strive to rid yourself of that which binds you. Whether it be self hatred, fear, sadness, hopelessness, anger, rage, memories, bitterness, failure, pride, or behavioral patterns you can not over come, I invite you to step into the scene from my dream. And cease striving!

Stop trying. Stop making plans and doing it yourself. Put a stop to it all. Turn around and walk to the source of your injury and sit there. Acknowledge you are not God and believe that He is. Freedom, I’m continuing to learn, is the very definition of His name!

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