After a night of tossing and turning, I rolled out of bed. The sun wasn’t even breaking the horizon. Sleepily I headed for the coffee, because that’s how every great morning should start. But this pre-dawn seemed different.
I felt like I had been on a merry-go-round with someone spinning it as fast as they could. My mind was spinning, my stomach was nauseated, and my soul would not quiet. It was 4am and this nauseous feeling of being spun-to-death was getting the best of me.
I think somewhere in the last years I had jumped on this playground amusement ride without knowing the effects that were to come. It wasn’t like in elementary when you’d head to recess and choose to hop on the merry-go-round. No, this was more like I just woke-up and there I was huddled in the middle of the thing. I think I had gone from standing to sitting in the center of this ride quite awhile back.
Vague memories of early childhood friends hollering Faster, Faster, Faster as they pushed the handles violently forward weren’t really apparent. But muted voices were definitely being thrust my way.
More. More. More.
Maybe those voices of More are hollering at you too —
work more, achieve more, long for more praises, control more,
get more, drink more, use more, watch more,
more, more, more.
More had become the adult-kin to Faster.
And this morning I couldn’t handle the weight of the More ride any longer. The ride had taken my inner peace and my words. People would shout as I spun by, “Why aren’t you writing or speaking?”And I would literally answer back, “Because I have no words! More stole them.”
As someone who knows they are called to write and teach for God’s glory, having no words should have alerted me a long while back that this ride was not for me. Oh how God never intended for us to be on a ride of More.
But in some sick way I had allowed myself to get to this point. You know because that’s what we high-achieving people do. We press through. We get it done. We are high capacity people and we’re proud of More.
I remember saying from the fast-paced ride at the first sign of dizziness that I didn’t think I could do More. Life was spinning too fast. At the expense of cramming More into my life, I was missing out on the greater gifts — family and friends.
But just like the child that wants off that rotating-platform, but yet wants to see just how long they can hold on, those pleas were not uttered with force. My attempts to surrender were weak. Oh how I should have shouted instead, “Stop! This ride of More More More is over.”
As I dizzily poured myself coffee, I knew I had hit my spinning limits. I had gone from standing on the roundabout, to sitting, to now laying face down just trying to stay focused and not barf. Not knowing how to stop the crazy ride, I sat in prayer. Tears fell. My stomach tumbled as I cried out, “God, I can’t handle this ride any longer.”
I was left with silence. Where was God after all? When I couldn’t take the centrifugal pressure any long. I cried, “God, I’m going to pretend to surrender everything so that you can reorder my life. I’m out of control.”
Pretending to surrender.
The moment I communicated to God that I was going to “pretend to surrender” should have been the moment that lightening flew down from the heavens and blew up my coffee cup. But thank God his mercies are new every morning and his love is unconditional.
I threw my hands out pretending to surrender it all. I named them one-by-one as I laid them mentally in God’s hands. I give you Serving. I give you Writing. I give you Speaking. I give you the ministries that I lead. I give you our island vacation rental properties. I give you the passions that I desire. Basically what I was saying was, “God, I GIVE UP! Please stop this merry-go-round ride.”
Back in second grade when I would holler from the ride, “I can’t take any more. I give up. Please stop this merry-go-round,” it seemed forever before my friends, who had been pushing me all along, could bring me to a full stop. They would fling their arms out and try to grab the handles to stop the ride. They would do this over and over as the handles would fly by, and eventually the ride would slowly come to an end.
But this morning as I sat with my tears and coffee, something crazy happened. The ride just STOPPED. There was no gradual slowing. It was over.
All the More’s that had been screaming at me, God quieted. He missed the part where I said I was going to “pretend” to surrender because I loved it all. But in those wee hours my ride abruptly stopped and everything was left flying in crazy motion.
In a blink the more-driven ride was over.
I was no longer clinging to the handles on the merry-go-round, I was hanging to God for dear life. My heart knew the roundabout had stopped. My soul knew it. But what I didn’t realize at the time was that it would be almost a year before the dizzying feeling would begin to go away.
Oh friend, I’m not sure if you are in a spot where More is screaming at you to the point you are dazed and distracted. But if so, please take it from one who has been there, it’s time to let go.
Let go of more striving.
Let go of more eating.
Let go of more working.
Let go of more shopping.
Let go of more control, anger, drugs and alcohol.
Let go of more achievements.
Let go of More, More, More!
Pretend to surrender, if you will, and see where God leads.
If you’ve stepped off the nauseating ride of More, I’d love to hear from you. I’m curious to know when the dizzying feeling stops.
Or if you’re on the brink of no sleep, no peace, and no way out I’d love to offer you the small bit of wisdom I’ve accumulated on surrendering to More.
Let’s step off this dizzying ride together. This is not the way to a full life.
Thank you so much to Carolina at I Hope You Dance and Faye at Ramblings |Thoughts, Ideas, and Convictions for the awesome merry-go-round photo’s. Please check out their websites. You will be blessed.