So here are my feet last week in the Harz Mountains in Germany! Probably seems like a strange way to start this brief blog!!
I took the photo towards the end of a toboggan run that we all went on. At this stage, you had to just sit back and surrender to the mechanism and allow yourself to be pulled back to the start. Even if you tried to do anything with the controls, it made no difference. The only option would be to un-clip your safety belt and step off!
In life, ever felt that you have got to a situation where things are beyond your control? If so, perhaps you need to learn to surrender?
- Many of us, may be all of us often want to be in control. We can seek to rely on our abilities, our knowledge, our resources or our contacts. None of these are wrong in themselves. Yet where do we turn when all of this no longer seems to work?
- Or when we look at the news and troubles around the world? How do we respond? Does fear and despair totally engulf us? Are we able to see beyond and ask God to give us a different perspective?
- If you are reading this as a Christ follower, are there areas in your life where you sense the Lord is challenging you to change, grow, embrace something new or give something up?
In response to all of these, I give the word ‘surrender’. What might that look like in our lives?
In Proverbs 3:5-6 we can read,
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.” (New International Version)
Do we believe that? Will we act on it? To do so will involve ‘surrender’.
Some of the core of Christian faith can seem at face value contradictory. For example, to live, we have to die: “Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it” (Luke 17:33). Jesus did not mean literally dying. So what was He getting at? How do these words speak into your life?
On old U2 song (yup, I am showing my age!!) includes the words, “if I wanna live, I gotta die to myself someday”.
This weekend as a church community we will meet at a lakeside and witness two people getting baptised. They are recognising God’s grace in their lives, His forgiveness and that they have begun a new life of following Christ. Neither of them are claiming to be perfect.
Baptism symbolises the dying to an old life and rising to a new one in Christ. That can sound a bit ‘mystical’ and disconnected from the real world. But walking out faith amid the opportunities and challenges of life, involves in a very real way, an ongoing dying, a surrender. This impacts into daily living.
As the verses above from Proverbs stress, “Trust…” We all put our trust in something… actually we all surrender to something. What or who is it going to be?