The earliest memory I have is from when I was about 4 years old. I was taking my sisters’ old LIFEPACs out of an old square coffee table we used to have in our living room. This was before I learned to read, which was quite early in life, since I was just about to turn seventeen when I entered my senior year of high school. Anyway, I only vaguely remember learning to read, like a dream of a bream’s memory, shrouded in the long years. Nevertheless, I still remember how to read, an ability as easy to me now as walking. It wasn’t always that way. For a time, I struggled to read and didn’t make a real practice of it until I was in the 3rd grade. Unlike public schools today, I was supposed to be a fluent reader when I finished kindergarten in my Mom’s homeschool. Basically, it wasn’t until I learned to multiply and divide in the 3rd grade that I began to read a book of any length.
Luke 9:23 says, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.” This passage speaks of a daily denial of one’s own rights and a surrender to Christ. Something done daily, like taking up one’s cross should become as natural as reading. One can hardly spend a day without reading something during that day. But is surrender that natural to us? Perhaps we are out of practice; perhaps we have spentso many months or years refusing to surrender that we have forgotten how. Or maybe we never knew how in the first place. Learning, then, or relearning becomes the lesson God has to teach us as He slowly unclasps our hands around the issues we hold on to so tightly.
There are two concepts that deal with all issues: Struggle and Surrender. There are times when life becomes a struggle, a battle, a fight, both within and without. The best example is a struggle against temptation. James says to resist the devil. There are also times when the only path to victory is to surrender control, the only way the things can be resolved. Yet sometimes, these two concepts are intertwined; sometimes there is a struggle to surrender….And all this from a fond memory I had while taking a afternoon stroll around the circuit.
JA Menter 3