…before we can surrender ourselves we must become ourselves. For no one can give up what he does not possess.

More precisely – we have to have enough mastery of ourselves to renounce our own will into the hands of Christ – so that He may conquer what we cannot reach by our own efforts. 20

Surrender is not resignation; it is not defeat.

Jesus embodied in himself all the power of the universe. When one of his followers offered violent resistance to his arrest, Jesus challenged the action asking,

Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? (Matthew 26:53)

And yet, just prior to his arrest Jesus had voluntarily given away his power saying to God,

‘My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; yet not what I want but what you want.’ (Matthew 26:39)

Jesus surrendered his life, not from a position of weakness, but from a place of strength.

No one took Jesus’ life from him. He was not the victim on the cross; he was the willing sacrifice.

I can only surrender that which I have first possessed.

Richard Rohr writes that, “there are at least two major tasks to human life. The first task is to build a strong ‘container’ or identity; the second is to find the content that the container is meant to hold. (Falling Upward xiii) Building a strong ‘container’ means developing a life that is as functional and workable as I am able to create.

But, having built my container, I only begin to discover “the content that the container is meant to hold” as I let go of my determination to preserve, protect, and perpetuate everything I have built.

The journey of Lent is to surrender my power, lay down the privileges I have accumulated, and let go of my determination to preserve at all costs the fragile identity I have struggled to forge through the first half of my life.

What identity have I struggled to forge in the first half of my life?

What might hinder me from surrendering this identity?

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