Recently, my little Maltese, Theo, was given a very cute sweater in the style of a Halloween pumpkin. He really did look cute. Theo is quite old and despite the amusing picture he presented running around in such brightly colored, orange and green apparel, the warmth the sweater provided helped his arthritic joints. As I watched Theo, it occurred to me that we humans, put on brightly colored garments to protect our fragility. We hide loneliness under the cloak of business; we protect fragile egos under the status of job titles and organization memberships; and we hide our hurts under the guise of stoic strength. In short, as Rohr wrote, we try to manage life. Jesus came in human form that He, in complete identification with the human condition, could be the example of how to live authentically in the Kingdom of God both now and eternally. Part of Kingdom Living is surrendered living.
At first, Theo fought me as I put the sweater on him. After a short while, he seemed to be warmer and moved with more alacrity. Now, he comes readily and with open surrender whenever he sees a sweater in my hand and the result is that he prospers. It seems to me that we fight the commands and callings of God as though they are burdens to enslave us rather than gifts to prosper and care for us. With the gift of Jesus we were given the picture of perfect surrender. Yes, His surrender seemed costly. To lay down one’s life is not a small thing. But then I am reminded of the verses that remind us that He came only to do His Father’s will and that He is now seated at the Right Hand of the Father and that at His Name every knee will bow and every tongue confess the Jesus Christ is Lord. I am also reminded of verses that tell us when surrender ourselves to the grace and care of God, we are no longer slaves but children of God, co-heirs with Christ and surrender becomes immensely appealing!
Soli Deo Gloria,