Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Anyone who loves their life will lose it, while anyone who hates their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.
- John 12:23-26
“I will deliver this people from the power of the grave;
I will redeem them from death.
Where, O death, are your plagues?
Where, O grave, is your destruction?
- Hosea 13:14
“’Unless a seed falls to the ground and dies it remains a lone seed,’ she said. ‘All things that live eventually become the soil in which new things can take root. Things that would otherwise not exist.’ … ‘Sweetheart, everything that’s happened to our family has left so many unanswered questions. Yet, life will eventually blossom into something beyond imagination – if we can let go and allow it to happen. Do you believe it?’
“Let go. It’s what the girl had told me on this very street. She’d been right. For a moment, however brief, the girl had helped me let go. …
“’No,’ I said, ‘No, you can’t die.’
“’When God calls his children home, there’s no death, no sting. There’s only new life. Resurrection. That’s the life that I want, dear, not the rumor or shadow of it I’ve been trapped in for the past year.’
“But then the words had put God into a box, as words could only do. In truth, he saw, God was not defined by words. God was the Word itself. Infinite. And he was in awe once again. Weeping with gratitude and ecstasy without shedding a tear.
“’That death isn’t death. It’s not the end because we aren’t just our minds or our bodies. We’re far more than just physical beings having a spiritual experience. We’re spiritual beings having a temporary physical experience.’ He paused. ‘All I know is the reality that’s beyond all of this transcend words and comprehension. The only way to grasp it is to let go of our own limited understanding.’
“I smiled and squeezed his hand. ‘You look so … different. So alive. What did you see? What changed?’
”’Everything changed,’ he said. ‘Everything. Turns out, some things can’t be explained. … Some things are too big to comprehend. You have to leave space for mystery. A lot of space. And the only way to grasp it is to let go of everything else.’
“’That’s what Mom told me.’
“’Deditio,’ he said. Surrender.
“’Deditio,’ I repeated with a chuckle.
“’Nothing will ever be the same. I feel like I’m seeing the world for the first time.’
- Ted Dekker, Hacker
When I first started reading Ted Dekker, my wife gave me a warning, “He’s weird.” She could have easily been describing the Outlaw Chronicles. There are three books: Eyes Wide Open, Water Walker, and Hacker.
Outlaw is a person, maybe a person(?), who appears to teens who are in trouble, in a vision, in person, somehow. The lines get blurred. In the first two books, the teens were part of an experimental group of children, brought up in carefully controlled circumstances, but then released into foster care or adoption and scattered. It seems Outlaw is the one who is collecting them and protecting them. In the third book, you do not even get a mention of Outlaw until about halfway through the book. Hacker is a story about two young hackers who eventually hack into their own subconscious minds. The younger of the two is looking for a cure for her mother who may soon die. Her older friend is hacking into himself, having perfected the method, in order to find the source of a vision when he was younger, where he met Outlaw. He rejected Outlaw at the time, because Outlaw told him that he must let go of his thinking – his mind was not the sum total of his existence. Now, with a brain tumor, he had to find out if Outlaw was real, a vision, or something that he had created in his subconscious.
Of course, there is intrigue. The young girl starts off hacking a big corporation to impress them that she could do so – in order to get money in the form of a consulting fee to enter her mother into an experimental program that could save her life. She doesn’t realize that she has hacked into something that could affect the security of nations, and the company wants the information back and her dead. The FBI is trying to protect her, by house arrest, making the girl’s further attempts to save her mother impossible. Thus, she teams up with an old friend, and they hack their own brains, in tandem. As my wife said, weird.
In the three quotes, the first is a conversation that the girl has with her mother, although her mother has already died. The second is the young man hacker who realizes why his quest for ultimate knowledge cannot work, because some things simply cannot be explained. Because God is the Word and beyond explanation. And the third quote is a conversation between the young hackers after everything is resolved.
There is a lot of “letting go” discussion, and the thing that needs to be let go seems to drift in the story line. But that is like life itself. Any person coming to Jesus and surrendering (Deditio) must let go of their sinful life to follow Jesus. Sure, that may not be a “one and done” moment, but repentance is needed.
Yet, for the intellectual, letting go of having to figure everything out first is possibly their biggest hurdle. This is how the young man hacker is portrayed. He hacks his way into being a millionaire. He gets a brain tumor. He spends the millions and then some in perfecting the hacking of his own brain. In other words, each time there is a problem, he resolves to fix the problem. The answer can never be that the problem is beyond his ability to fix it.
In a way, when Jesus was talking to His disciples about how hard it was for a rich person to enter Heaven, He was not just talking about only gold coins. Jesus was talking about intelligence, fame, fortune, and power. Anything that provides influence. And in some cases, the influence only has to affect the individual themselves. Can Satan convince the smartest guy in the room that since he is the smartest guy in the room, he does not need anyone else? Of course, Satan can do that, but that smartest guy in the room needs God – thus, making the concept of “the smartest guy in the room” to be null and void. The “smartest guy in the room” is always God.
Too many times, I have sat in business meetings. The boss, having no clue what he’s talking about, promises the client the impossible (or something very close to impossible). As the customer goes away happy, the boss turns to me and says, “Make it happen.” That was my job for many, many years. For about three of those years, I worked in one organization where the other guys in the group got together and printed signs at their desks. Each sign said that they were unable to perform miracles, but if that is what you need… Then the sign pointed to my cubicle in the corner of the room. When a stranger showed up at my desk, laughing, I knew I was in for some trouble and late hours.
That might sound flattering, to be a “miracle worker”, but it is tiring, especially when I never got compensated for being a “miracle” worker, not that I ever performed miracles – I just worked hard and worked like a bulldog – grab on tight and don’t let go. Yet, I was a lot like the young man. I had Jesus in my heart already, not like the young man, discovering Jesus after everything fell apart. But I felt confident in my abilities and if I did not know how to pull off the miracle, I was going to give it my all.
It is hard letting that go.
So, for you who find it hard to let go, or for those who claim they tried Jesus and it did not work (probably because they reserved something that they were unwilling to let go), letting go of whatever it is that holds you back is the answer.
I have read it in a Max Lucado book, but I think he was quoting someone else. There was a missionary translating the Bible into a tribal language, but they had no word for “believe” so how could He even convey John 3:16 to them? Then a young man climbed up on the missionary’s front porch and said that he was very tired. Then the young man said, “I am placing all my weight into this chair.” In other words, he was letting go. The missionary could now translate John 3:16 to the tribe. “For God so loved the world that He sent His only Son so that whoever places all their weight upon Him shall have eternal life.”
The saying goes “Let go and let God…”
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.