Christians and Surrender

Devotion . . . Surrender

From Dr. Gail Brenner

There is an open secret to the spiritual life, and it’s called surrender.

We can try our best to understand the nature of reality and our conditioning. We can hope forever that our troubling thoughts and feelings will subside so we’ll finally be at peace. But until we surrender, the happiness we long for will elude us. The word “surrender” means to give back completely, to release our ownership of something and offer it back.

What do you surrender?

  • Your personal needs and desires

  • Attachment to the content and meaning of all thoughts

  • Attachment to things being familiar and known

  • The need to know

  • The need to understand and analyze with your mind

  • The need to control

That's a lot! It’s everything you hang onto that keeps you feeling separate—from others, from yourself, and from life. In fact, you never owned these things—they were never you. Surrender brings you back to what was always true. Surrender everything that makes up your personal identity, and where are you? Who are you? You’re empty, willing, and totally receptive to let yourself be the instrument of something greater. And that something greater is the natural intelligence that is the pure substance of life. Everything is given—the people you know, your talents and skills, the situations you find yourself in, the challenges and joys that make up your life. You can subtract your personal desires and ideas about things, and your life is still here, beautifully unfolding as it is. And things get a lot easier once we stop resisting this movement. We’re coming into alignment with things as they truly are. To me, surrender arises from absolute devotion to the intelligence of the life force that is all-knowing, all-encompassing. I bow down with utter humility, beyond receptive, open with nothing personal in the way. I don’t need to carry any concerns or figure anything out. I don’t go into my mind for answers. I simply let myself be taken by the river of life that is already flowing, receiving everything that’s given without one second of hesitation. What’s invited is pure devotion, releasing everything until you are nothing and letting yourself be the vessel that you truly are. You love what’s given with all your heart. You’re a thousand percent willing to do the bidding that’s offered.

Surrender leaves nothing out, not one stone unturned. But don’t get deterred by the totality of what is being asked of you. Take a baby step in the direction of surrender. Put aside your view on how you want things to be in one situation and wholeheartedly embrace what’s actually happening as it is.

  • Stop questioning one idea you're attached to and flow with what’s given.

  • Put aside your view on how you want things to be in one situation and wholeheartedly embrace what’s actually happening as it is.