Thy Will Be Done
Surrender. What a beautiful word, what a lovely concept. And what a terrifying proposition for most of us, me included. Surrender? Give up? Admit defeat? Not on your life, Buckaroo. Way too tough for that.
It’s tempting to comment on the lessons our American culture has taught us about the value of persistence, drive, competition (well, winning at competition anyway), and “grit.” No need to comment though, we’ve all learned these lessons, their value seems as natural as the air we breathe.
Surrender is our theme for the season of Lent, and it’s my favorite of all the themes that we’ve come up with so far, because the act of surrender is so counter to most of what we believe, and by that, I mean the way we live our lives. Since Jimmy’s sermon and our offering white flags to our people as a reminder to surrender, I’ve had some interesting conversations about what this could mean, if surrender holds any value, and if so, how we can do it. I’m grateful that it’s on our minds and in our hearts in this season of Lent. For me surrender is an open-ended possibility, more of a question than an answer, an attitude to aspire to rather than a simple, one and done solution.
Much of the time stick-to-itiveness serves us well. Until it doesn’t, until we just find ourselves stuck. What if surrender, as hard and counterintuitive as it is, is the Way. Let’s keep talking about it, let’s even give it a try. At our Lenten dinners Mary, Travis, Jimmy and I will each tell a personal story of a time when we surrendered, in the hope that our stories will resonate in your lives.
One last thought. Maybe the way into the Way begins with a line from that prayer we pray together so often. “Thy will be done.”