People in the developed world have been trained in power and performance principles, but not at all in a spirituality of imperfection, detachment, letting go, and least of all any kind of surrender. It sounds like losing, and we do not like that. (Yet we worship a God figure, Jesus, who is clearly losing by every criterion imaginable.) The Gospel is often non-understandable to the common mind, unless one has meditated long and hard on the message of the cross.
Surrender, to Western or comfortable people, sounds like losing when it’s actually accessing a deeper, broader sense of the self which is already content and totally abundant. We would call it the “true self” or who-you-are-in-God.
Once you move your identity to that level of deep inner Contentment and draw life from that deeper Abundance, why would you ever again settle for a scarcity model for life—“I’m not enough, this is not enough, I do not have enough”? In God and in grace, you are overwhelmed by more-than-enoughness!
What looked initially like losing becomes the ultimate finding.
Richard Rohr, adapted from The Little Way
When you look at it like this, poverty is the most comfortable place to live. As St. Francis discovered, Lady Poverty is the most faithful of lovers. Truly I have never been happier than at those times in my life when I have had least. The absence of anxiety, the sheer freedom—my shoulders relax, my head lifts. I’m sure my whole expression must change. No wonder people who meet people who truly live as our Lord suggested feel that they’ve somehow encountered God, if this is what my little experience feels like to me!
The Good News is freedom. The truth really does set you free. No wonder “the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the children of God” (Romans 8:19, 21 NRSV) for “the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.”
This is our hope. This is the ground of our prayer and the land on which we walk. Could any inheritance be more glorious than ours? Run, leap into the air, yell like a fool—for Christ has died, and Christ has risen, and “the Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance”, but he is coming. He will make all things new. And we get to be a part of that? Hallelujah!