May 11, 2022
From Jackie Payne
So it finally happened…I got called to jury duty this week. I was stressing so much for several reasons:
1) I am a control freak, and I don’t take too kindly when my schedule is up in the air. “Just call us after 6:30 tonight to see if you need to be on jury duty tomorrow.” Sure – that sounds fun! Let me completely rearrange my schedule and be at your beck and call. (sarcasm intended)
2) I don’t like conflict so the thought of having to determine someone’s fate and potentially disagreeing with strangers is stress-inducing to say the least
3) I’ve never done this before, and I get stressed when I don’t know what to expect. I was the person who found the YouTube video of what to expect when reporting for jury duty in Cobb County and watched it a week before I reported. I was also the one, who despite being on Marietta Square more times than I can count, still had to map out where I was going.
But I went (and it wasn’t so bad) and I got called to be on a jury (which didn’t turn out to be so bad – the whole civic duty thing is pretty cool and I'm very thankful for it). The one thing that I kept doing throughout the day on Monday as I sat there and waited and waited and waited and then on Tuesday as I sat through a case was to pray.
Romans 8:26-28 says:
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
It’s easy to say we pray and leave it all to Him. It’s a whole other thing to actually do it. We, as the humans we are, like to do something. We like to fix something or create something or talk through something. It’s a whole lot harder to surrender our control and ask God to do something, to sit and wait it out.
As I sat there and waited and thought of all the things I needed to do at work this week and how I couldn’t pick up the kids and who was going to make dinner, I also realized that I just needed to surrender my week to Him. Maybe I needed to be one of the jurors on this case; maybe if someone else was there, they would have had a different opinion and there could have been a different verdict. Maybe I needed a lesson in compassion and grace by being a part of this trial. Maybe I needed the lesson (again) that I just need to surrender EVERYTHING to Him.
How are you at the whole surrender thing?