On Vikings and Going Under

There is a story about a group of Viking warriors who were ordered by their king to join him when he converted to the Christian faith through the waters of baptism. As they waded out into the nearby river to be baptized, they all went under the water while holding one of their arms high above their heads. If they had been asked why they were doing this, the warriors would have answered that they did not want the arm and hand that bore the sword to go under the water, for they had been taught that whatever goes under the water belongs to God. These warriors were willing to let the rest of their bodies, and thus their lives, belong to God, but their sword-arms would be held back. The Vikings may not have cared one way or another about the new religion that their king had embraced with them in tow, but they did know that they were not about to give control over the most important part of their life to this new God. (Unknown source)

I read this story and realized I am a Viking. I happily go under the water, but not all the way. I'm not protecting my sword-arm; rather, I'm holding my wallet high above my head. I am proud of what I give to my church, but the rest belongs to me and that's that. I don't let God or anyone else tell me what to do with the remainder of my money because I have to maintain control. I also realize that my calendar is in that hand with the wallet; "time is money", after all, and I've got to be sure I'm making the most out of every day. I don't need God monkeying with my schedule.

It's almost 2015, so I think I'll forgo the usual resolution of losing weight and try something harder, as I don't want to be a Viking this year. I recently read somewhere that many of us view God as some sort of cosmic Santa Claus who gives us a wonderful life if we believe enough, pray enough, give enough to our church. Just as I don't want to be a Viking, I don't want to use God as my personal genie. So I've got to face the facts....I'm not in control. I never have been. I don't have to be afraid of going all the way under the water, as it will mean something wonderful will happen. When I've truly "let go and let God" in the past, and been grateful for what I have and given generously in response to God's grace and abundance, I've been transformed. So why do I still have one hand high above my head, not daring to get it wet?

I can't help but think that God may sometimes want to behave as my older brother occasionally did when we were at the pool, and push me all the way under. This year I hope I'll let the blessings He pours down on me day after day finally help me go totally below the surface....and I pray I will stay there.