Surrender control

Surrender control

May 27, 2018  |  Sunday Letter, Trinity Sunday

Grace to you

The wind blows where it wills. We cannot make the wind blow. Not even a becalmed sailor can make the wind blow. At best, a sailor can hoist the sails so that when the wind does blow, their boat is moved to fresh destinations. We can do things to catch the wind but we cannot do anything to move the wind.

This is equally true and mysterious about the Holy Spirit which is nothing less than the Wind of God which is nothing less that the Wind of Love.

We cannot make the Holy Spirit come. We cannot make the Wind of Love show up. All we can do is prepare to receive her when she does. All we can do is hoist the sails of our lives so that when the Wind of Love blows, our lives will be resurrected and returned to us, and our living will be moved to fresh destinations.

We hoist the sails of our lives by surrendering control.

Surrendering control is at the heart of any and all authentic spiritual journeys. Surrendering control is the journey of Jesus: “If you want to follow me take up your cross…” It is ‘The Way’ that leads to New-Life-Now that cannot be taken away even though we may die.

It is completely counter-cultural to surrender control. In fact for many of us, control is what our whole life is either consciously or unconsciously directed towards.

Therefore to surrender control is painfully difficult, but deep down we long for it because deep down (beneath our defense mechanisms) we know that nothing we control can save us (our lives prove this). We also know that we need to be saved from control itself and therefore it stands to reason that it is impossible to control that which is to save us from control.

Salvation cannot be controlled because salvation is not a machine that can be programmed or a magic trick that can be performed or a commodity that can be purchased. Salvation is a gift and it can only be freely received as it is freely given. More specifically, salvation is the free gift of Love. Control suffocates love.

We surrender control by grace. The grace of spiritual practice – especially SILENCE (for those who keep control through words), SOLITUDE (for those who keep control through crowds / relationships) STILLNESS (for those who keep control through work and deeds).

If not through these intentional means of grace – then we will learn to surrender control through being humbled by our ageing and failing bodies (sickness) or through humiliation as a result of our hidden selves spilling out publicly.

Perhaps we will only surrender control through a mixture of silence, solitude, stillness, sickness and spilled selves…but all are precious if we are able to welcome and feel the Wind of Love.
Grace,
Alan


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