I Surrender

September 16th, 2010 – by Laura Lehman Amstutz, Editors Blog

Sometimes I take on too much. Okay, more than sometimes, always. I have a very hard time saying no. Partially because so many things sounds like fun, are interesting, or seem like the “right thing to do.” This week has been one of those weeks when all the things I have agreed to do have come together to clobber me.

Last week I was at a consultation for the missional church. The consultation was put together by the executive board of Mennonite Church USA, and the purpose was to talk about the structure of the church. At some point in the future, I hope to write a post about structure in the church. But today I wanted to focus on something else I learned, or was reminded of, at that meeting. It’s something I tend to forget in the midst of the responsibility I feel to do my part in keeping projects, institutions and other good works going.

I was reminded again that the Holy Spirit is supposed to be the prime-mover in the church, not me. Maybe it seems obvious, but it’s something I easily forget in all the running around I do to make sure everything works out just right. I forget that God is in charge.

Lois Barrett, one of the speakers, shared a prayer by Charles de Foucauld that I am working on praying.

Father, I abandon myself
into your hands;
do with me what you will.
Whatever you may do,
I thank you.

I am ready for all,
I accept all.

Let only your will be done in me
and in all your creatures.
I wish no more than this, O Lord.

Into your hands
I commend my soul;
I offer it to you,
with all the love of my heart,
for I love you, Lord,
and so need to give myself,
to surrender myself
into your hands,
without reserve,
and with boundless confidence,
for you are my Father.

I wonder what would happen if I would live this prayer and actually believe it? It scares me. What does it mean for my life if I truly surrender? What would it mean for the church if we all prayed this prayer?

Would my feeling of responsibility for the success or failure of the things I do decrease? Would I find myself doing things I didn’t expect? Would I discover more fully my call?

I don’t know, but maybe it’s time to find out.

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2 Responses to “I Surrender”

  1. Pete Geoffrion Says:

    Laura,
    First, considering Charles de Foucauld’s prayer, both the first person intimacy and also its universal appropriateness as a prayer for every disciple of Jesus who moves along with the Holy Spirit, the “prime-mover,” for the will of God the Father—I find joy in your questioning not only the prayers role for you but also for the church.
    Second, I’m excited there exists prayerful, and I would assume biblical, discussion regarding “the structure of the church.” I look forward to your future post on the subject.

  2. Becca Says:

    Oh, do I hear ya, Laura! Do you think this tendency to say “yes” to everything is more prevalent in our gender–and/or a symptom of wanting to feel needed? I always say “next week will be different” when it comes to over-doing things. How often do we really allow ourselves the time to “be still and know”?