Saturday, August 27, 2011

Surrender Dorothy!

There’s a concept that I have absolutely no understanding of, even though it is pretty important if you don’t want to drive yourself crazy while you are trying to live a Christian life. And that is surrender. I understand that I am supposed to do it – let go and let God and all that... But really, what does it look like?

Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” That’s awesome, but how do I know if anything I am doing is “through Christ” or just me? I’ve heard that if you’re doing things through Christ, you shouldn’t be tired, but... let’s say I’m tired. How do I give it over? Really – I’m asking. If you know, please tell me. 

I remember expressing this to a friend one time and he said, “You don’t have to know how to do it, just tell God you want to but don’t know how.” So, I’m guessing, opening a channel to God is crucial to the process.

The most practical description of the process I ever heard was actually in Eric Clapton’s autobiography: 

Eric Clapton. Guess what? He's not God!
“The noise in my head was deafening, and drinking was in my thoughts all the time. It shocked me to realize that here I was in a treatment center, a supposedly safe environment, and I was in serious danger. I was absolutely terrified, in complete despair.

Almost of their own accord, my legs gave way and I fell to my knees. In the privacy of my room I begged for help. I had no notion of whom I thought I was talking to—I just knew that I had come to the end of my tether, and I had nothing left to fight with. Then I remembered what I had heard about surrender, something I thought I could never do, that my pride just wouldn’t allow it. But I knew that on my own I wasn’t going to make it, so I asked for help, and, getting down on my knees, I surrendered.”

I guess that, though Clapton has told of a previous born-again experience, he doesn’t have all the Christian-ese to wrap his surrender story in, and that’s what makes it so clear and approachable. I find it kind of funny that a man of whom some say, “Eric Clapton is god” gave me a pretty good description of a man saying, “I’m not God.”

So, is surrender, then, just getting on your knees and saying, “I need You” to God? I have done this countless times, but I am pretty sure that in life, I am running on my own steam plenty of times. I AM exhausted after all... or maybe I’m just exhausted because I’m 49 and have a 7-year-old, my own business and a house to keep...? 

So, if I desire to take hold of this elusive (to me) Christian virtue called surrender, what would I do differently? If you know, please share. 

Now here’s Bono, the Edge, Larry and Adam to play us out: 

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