Revolution By Surrender


This was one of those middle-of-the-night poems that I felt compelled to write AND publish when I should have been sleeping. So, I woke up this morning and looked at my phone with a little bit of fear. “What did I write last night?”

Was I drunk when I wrote this poem? No. In fact, my thinking was remarkably clear. Last night, I had just seen someone’s Facebook post in which they revealed how worked up they are about politics in the United States. I thought, “Yeah, I used to get worked up about that….” Then I confessed to myself that for all my equanimity regarding politics, I still do get worked up. My irritation at politicians has been replaced with irritation at people who care about politicians. This is not much of an improvement!

In a moment of clarity, I visualized a coming time when the equanimity I now feel toward politicians will extend to people who get worked up about politicians. I sat up in bed and jotted down this convoluted thought, which had to be worked out in other, better words:

Will I someday care as little
That YOU care now so much
About the things for which
I now no longer care?

the convoluted beginning of a poem

Irritableness & My Efforts
Irritableness (irritability?) is a trait I have lived with far too long. I’m working on it. I think about it. I read about it. New understanding comes by way of counseling and books. New concepts fill my mind: “attachment theory,” “affect regulation,” “interpersonal neuro-biology.”

Here’s what I expect to happen, based on past experience…. The Holy Spirit will take all my efforts, grind them into a powder, and sprinkle a dash of them in his delicious, surprising feast of provision. God made me with my penchant for problem-solving. He honors it, but not without poking fun at my self-reliance.

extradite this passion
In case the above background didn’t open up the poem for you, here it is in plain words: Just as a nation, or an embassy, gets tired of harboring someone who is wanted as a criminal by some other nation, I am tired of harboring passions that God would be more than glad to take off my hands. There are better things to do with my remaining energy in my remaining years, things that will make a difference forever.

That’s a strong word. It describes a thorough change. That’s what I desire.

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