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Meditation for (Christian) Dummies – 4

October 18, 2008

Continued from previous post.

So. I’m about five minutes into my morning meditation, not very long at all, and I’m focusing on the word “Surrender.” And probably to be honest with you, in the back of my mind at some subterranean subconscious level I was still asking God “What is the deal with surrendering? What does that even mean? What do you want from me? How is this supposed to work? ” Etc. etc. etc.

And then, very quietly, out of nowhere, this thought just passed over me like a warm blanket on a freezing cold night:

Surrender doesn’t mean giving up. It means engaging completely and fully in your life.

That was it. That concept, not exactly in words, but that idea, emerged unassumingly and then proceeded to fully establish itself in my thoughts. It stepped in to the room, took a quick look around and dropped all it’s bags, saying “I ain’t goin’ nowhere!” And then I knew. It was like an epic shift was taking place in the tectonic plates of my spiritual topography. All of the interior wheels and gears that make up the apparatus of my consciousness clicked over a couple of notches, and in an instant changed my entire outlook on life. 

A flood of insights started surging through my mind, connecting a life’s worth of events, circumstances, decisions, attitudes, aspirations, and consequences. Surrender is the opposite of giving up. It’s giving in – to who you are. It isn’t passive, it’s active. It’s a paradox. But I have to trust in God for the outcome. That’s the hitch. And that’s the mystery. The one part that I can’t control is the outcome – the results, the future, the end-game of all my doings here on earth – and that’s the part where the true meaning of surrender comes in to play. The part that I can’t control anyways. God’s the One in control.

So why would I want to hold on to something I never had to begin with?

I don’t know why I hadn’t “gotten” this before. The act of surrendering my life means that I am fully collaborating with God in the life he has given me – my gifts, my passions, my ambitions, my ideas, my creativity, my love, even my doubts and struggles. Without holding back! Because He loves me, He created me! Just invite God in to my life, and be more of me. I can then trust God to lead, open doors, make a way, to whatever outcome is meant to be for His purpose and His will. And yes, I can look to Him in prayer, meditation and scriptures for general guidance and insights, but it’s not like He’s going to take over my current life and make every decision for me. He just wants to be involved. It’s not like a battle of wills — me vs. Him. Rather, it’s Him in me, somehow living and creating and loving through my crazy life.

That may sound very basic to you, but for me this solved a major problem in how I perceived the role of God in my daily life. It helped me see how I can integrate my very strong free will with an invisible God who is somehow pulling the strings from some other mysterious invisible dimension, and who is really the One in control. It also was a big step towards integrating my real life with my spiritual life. They are one in the same.

So, dear Blog readers, the great learning to share with you all from my meditation is this: Surrendering to God is a life-long process in which I am actively engaged, simply by the pursuit of my daily life — in making decisions, calculating business risks, driving the kids to school — both the milestones and the monotonous. But at the same time, I am acknowledging that God somehow, mysteriously is in the midst of it. He is doing His thing through me, accomplishing His purpose for my life.

My part is to show up.

My purpose is just to live.

For God.

It’s crazy.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. October 19, 2008 9:12 am

    Surrender: that is the whole deal in all relationships, but life or death in our relationship with God. This week I was re-reading Christ At the Round Table by E. Stanley Jones. He expressed my heart: He sensed God asking, “Will you give me your all?” Jones affirmed…”Why, yes Lord.” He then sensed, “Then take My all!”

    For me this explains it best. The peace, joy and purpose of life takes on the abundant vibrant life depicted in the Bible when we exchange our all for Heaven’s all. Jones concludes, “The deeper surrender had brought a deeper adjustment to Christ’s mind and purpose and had opened to me deeper Resources.” p.87.

    I am enjoying your transparent search for “true” surrender. This has encouraged me search my soul for anything I’m still holding onto.

    God bless you.

  2. October 19, 2008 9:20 pm

    Bradley,

    What God requires is crazy. And wonderful. And your description of this discovery of the counterintuitive nature of surrender flabbergasts me. The simplicity and momentousness awes. I love this story. Wow, am I glad I found Shrinking the Camel.

    God bless us.

    Diane L. Harris
    http://www.steppingintothelight.net

  3. October 22, 2008 6:55 am

    Bradley,

    I’ve mentioned and linked to your site and this Meditation series in my latest post, “Faith is Like Marriage.”

    Diane L. Harris
    http://www.steppingintothelight.net

  4. October 27, 2008 8:18 pm

    I can´t wait to read more as you continue your meditation. Just imagine what He will reveal to you in the near future.
    Awesome post, loved them all

  5. October 29, 2008 2:03 pm

    I agree with everyone else here… what a great series this has been!

    I was actually just studying in my theology class about the Holy Spirit. It is interesting to see the same themes run between those studies and this post. What I’ve been studying is how we become stronger and are more in control when we give ourselves to the work of the holy Spirit in our lives. Some people believe that surrendering to the power of the Holy Spirit means that we loose control, but as you point out, it is quite the opposite.

    When Jesus walked the earth, He was fully God, but also fully man. He wasn’t more of one than the other, but fully both.

    It is the same with us. The surrender of self to God still llows us to be fully who we are, but only empowered by the Creator of the Universe. Awesome…

  6. shrinkingthecamel permalink*
    October 29, 2008 6:15 pm

    Glad you all loved this post! It’s weird to think my whacko spiritual life could be fodder for inspiration to others. Thank God, though.

    Hope you all stick around STC for the next few weeks as I run some similar story-posts on my real-life grappling with topics like forgiveness, authenticity, and… Christmas!

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