Surrender has such a poor connotation in our society. For most it means giving up or failing. In the spiritual sense surrender is not passive. It’s about going deeper into our journey. Carolyn Myss says surrender is “The ultimate test of the human experience.” We empty ourselves so Spirit can come in. Joel Goldsmith wrote, “When we arrive at that place in consciousness where we no longer live by might or power, when the grace of God performs our tasks through us and within us, and is ever at hand to advise, to instruct, to lead, then we have reached the goal of spiritual life.”
There is a wonderful Sufi story about Nasrudin who is sitting in the market place, his face flushed, with sweat pouring from his forehead and tears streaming down his face. He is eating hot peppers. When someone asks him why he is doing that he replies, “I am looking for a sweet one.” He is intent on doing things his way even though it obviously isn’t working. Jack Kornfield tells us our suffering comes from the inevitable pain of life. Suffering is caused by grasping. When we cease grasping the suffering ends. When Nasrudin stops eating hot peppers his suffering will end. But first we need to release the thought we can do it better than God or by ourselves. There have been many times in my life when I felt I was fine doing whatever on my own. When things didn’t work out so well I often wondered why I thought I could handle a situation better that the power that created everything on earth. That takes a lot of ego.
Eric Butterworth writes that our biggest problem might not be the conditions we face but the fact we hold on to them. Freedom calls for letting go. There are tribes in Africa that when they want to capture monkeys they put fruit in a gourd. The monkeys reach in to get the fruit but as they latch on to it their fist is too big to come out of the hole. Yet they refuse to release the fruit and are easy prey for the tribesmen. How often do we replicate what the monkeys do? Next time you find yourself struggling with a problem or situation remind yourself to slow down, be still and see the divine works wonders in your life.