“I must keep alive in myself the desire for my true country; I must never let it get snowed under or turned aside; I must make it the main object of life to press on to that other country and to help others to do the same.” –C.S. Lewis

Our nation is deeply divided in the wake of the election.  But the division is distracting us from the more important choice we still face.

As a country, we’ve become focused on the color of our skin, so to speak, rather than the content of our character.  We are consumed with the issues, the politics, the parties.  We fight hard for them and place our hope in them. We look to them for relief from our doubt and uncertainty.

But while earthly leaders and laws are important, they’re not where our truest hope and power lie.

Bridging the divide begins with a collective refocus on the eternal values within each of us.  The political issues we face are real, difficult, and not to be discredited.  But as C.S. Lewis said, “Put first things first and we get second things thrown in; put second things first and we lose both first and second things.”

When we put our values into practice, we begin to respond rather than react.

We stand for peace and compassion in the face of fear and anger.

We stand for patience and forgiveness in the face of pride and judgment.

We stand for love that transcends party lines and political beliefs.

And it invites others to do the same.  When we stand with eternal forces on our side, we create a cohesive movement that all the powers of this world can’t destroy.

But it begins with each of us, individually.  We can distract ourselves with division, or we can stand for what unites us—one nation, under God, indivisible.

The decision is ours.

“Like someone falling off a boat, struggling to stay above the water only makes things worse.  We must accept we are there and settle enough so we can be carried by the deep.  The willingness to do this is the genesis of faith, the giving over to currents larger than us.” –Mark Nepo

We plot plans for our lives and work for hours or days or years bringing them to fruition.  Once the finished product is in our hands, we’re protective.  We clutch it tightly and avoid anything that may threaten it.

But we forget we don’t have ownership rights.

Sometimes the thing we want most is taken from us—life declares that our dream is denied, our partner is leaving, our business is failing, our position is cut.  Sometimes, despite our best efforts, life asserts its ownership rights and brings us to our knees.

I spent years bringing my own plan to fruition—the result was a bright and shiny law license.  My dream was to make a difference in people’s lives, and I thought being an attorney was my opportunity.  The truth was, I’d heard the whisper, ‘This isn’t the way.’  But still, I insisted.

A year out of law school, I was working for a firm that allowed me to head up its adoption division.  It fit perfectly into my plan.

Until the day the firm downsized and my position was cut.  There wasn’t a thing I could do.  My heart was crushed.

Sometimes we create and cling to things that simply aren’t meant for us.  It hurts when they fall from our grasp, and our first instinct is to plead and defy.  But our craftsmanship pales in comparison to the grander and more glorious plan.

So we must release our grip and allow our knees to buckle when life demands it.  It’s not giving up but giving in to the power greater than us.  And in this moment, on our knees, we realize this is where we belonged all along.

The truth was, being an attorney felt like an uphill battle and wasn’t fulfilling to me.  But I’d worked hard to get there, it offered financial stability, and everyone in my life expected I’d find another legal position.  So I was terrified to face that my heart told me not to.

I knew I could continue forcing my own plan and live with a sense of struggle, or I could accept the divine invitation into the unknown that was painfully, yet lovingly offered to me.

So I dropped to my knees.  And I was supported.

Even when we don’t understand where the path is leading or why something was removed from our life, when we make our dreams known and then surrender control, we become guided.

We’re kicked into an almost immediate sense of flow that wasn’t present before.  New people and opportunities begin to show up seemingly out of the blue.  Challenges begin to feel like growth opportunities, and things that fall away feel like a shedding of what’s not contributing to our growth rather than a loss to be suffered.

Surrender allows life to work for us rather than against us.  It holds us up, stronger than before.

Loving support and divine guidance is waiting.

Trust, and step in.