It is my habit, as the end of a year approaches, to seek the Lord for a word to guide the year to come. He has always been faithful to answer with words that challenge me and provide room to grow. Stretch. Wait. Listen. Release.
In the quiet of a Covid locked-down Christmas season, I couldn’t mistake His whisper, “Abandon”.
“Are you sure, Lord?” I asked, as if He would ever be uncertain.
The next song to play on Spotify was Steven Curtis Chapman singing of the original disciples in For the Sake of the Call:
“Nobody stood and applauded them
So they knew from the start
This road would not lead to fame
All they really knew for sure
Was Jesus had called to them
He said, ‘Come follow Me,’ and they came
With reckless abandon, they came.”
Okay, not just abandon, but reckless abandon! Not being abandoned by someone else, but abandoning self in total surrender.
In My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers said:
“Abandonment means to refuse yourself the luxury of asking any questions. If you totally abandon yourself to God, He immediately says to you, ‘I will give your life to you as a prize….’ The reason people are tired of life is that God has not given them anything — they have not been given their life ‘as a prize.’ The way to get out of that condition is to abandon yourself to God. And once you do get to the point of total surrender to Him, you will be the most surprised and delighted person on earth.”
I look forward to being surprised and delighted, don’t you? I know it happens when I’m writing. If I give up any plan for where the words will go, abandoning my own ideas or logic, what flows forth is something I never could have thought of.
Is it scary?
You bet. I have gulped and sighed and trembled. Like jumping off a cliff, I have to open my hands, trusting God will catch me.
In her poem Reckless Abandon, Pavithra K. Mehta writes:
“This morning I looked out of the window just in time to see a dive-bombing blue jay. The sight impressed me greatly. The way he dropped from a high tree branch, streaking like a small comet or a superhero. Swooping upward only at the very last possible second. Because he did not appear to have one, I gave him a name. I called him: Reckless Abandon. It suits him well. This daring, winged creature. I believe he is destined to be famous in my world. For he showed me how flying can look alarmingly like falling. He showed me too, how too full of reck I am. How reluctant to abandon anything. Why? he demanded to know. This blue strident bird. I had no answer. But one day, old, time-wizened, happy, I will look out the window. Ready to leave my perch. I will remember the flight of Reckless Abandon. And how it changed everything.”
If the concept of abandoning your entire life seems too large, too big a bite, try this nibble with me. Surrender your words, then write. Allow the wonder of a new thing.
You might write about:
- something the word abandon brings to mind
- things that hold you back from the release of abandon
- something in nature displaying abandon, like a leaf falling from a tree branch
- or you can abandon any ideas and see what words come.
When your words take shape, please share them with us. We’d love to be surprised and delighted with you.
Here are some words that abandon birthed in me:
THE GRIT OF ABANDON
by Karin Fendick
what my heart yearns for
for no other reason
than the call of my Master
whatever He might ask
a hand reaching out
to a friend
to a stranger
to an enemy
across the street
across the oceans
our call to His service
deepened and solidified
the red dirt of Africa
grit in an oyster shell
developed a pearl
to surrender and gleam
for His glory
have you taken time
to wait, to listen
to hear the Voice
more than it shouts
there is a call
for us all
will you choose
the narrow road of discipleship?
the reckless road of abandon?
I’ll walk with you there…
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Chronic Joy® Poetry Coordinator & Writer
Karin is a handmaiden of the Lord; saved by grace; a worshiper; a poet; a broken heart; a lover of words; hungry for truth; amazed by love; on the Potter's wheel His work in progress. After five years in Africa, Karin and her beloved husband of twenty years, Rick, are back in rural Canada where chronic pain drives her to the feet of Jesus. She is powered by prayer, love, and many cups of strong coffee. Author of From Ashes to Glory (A Psalm a Day).
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