I Surrender

by Barbara Ann Oliver

I have started making the dreaded New Year’s resolutions. As usual, diet is near the top of the list, as it is for many Americans. Then, there is the one about working harder, and the one about learning to speak Spanish.

And, of course, as a Christian, reading my Bible, praying more, and developing a closer relationship with God top the list. These are all commitments that I make at the beginning of each new year.

But that is where I go wrong. I make a commitment. Yet, commitments are based on My strength, My drive, My ability, My pledge to persevere. So, like most people, three weeks later, I am back to my old slack habits. And for most of my resolutions, that’s ok. I can survive another year being fat, being lazy, being mono-lingual.

But can I survive another year with the distance between what I am and what I want be in Christ? All other goals pale to this one goal. How do I keep it from becoming another failed resolution, another failed commitment?

I will not commit. I will surrender.

To surrender means to yield, “to give up oneself into the power or control of another.”/1 I cannot commit to be like Christ. I have to surrender. My will, my desires, my goals must fall … I almost said “second.” But there is no “second.” There is only “first,” and God is First.

I have one New Year’s resolution this year: To surrender. Each day I will surrender. Each day, because My will is strong, My desire to be in charge is strong. Only by surrendering every day can I hope to place my life in his hands.

What will you do this year? Commit or surrender?

/1 Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary, 1983.

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Barbara A Oliver

Barbara Ann Oliver has worked with the church in Costa Rica for many years and serves as the associate editor for Forthright Magazine.

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