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Let’s surrender to win

By Fr. Roy Cimagala,
March 26, 2014

MANY people today, sad to say, are having difficulty sleeping, eating and, worse, achieving a certain balance and stability in their life because of the many new things that lead them to long bouts of distraction, self-seeking and eventually utter self-exhaustion.

They are losing the proper focus in life, and their sense of priority has practically become a big mess, since they are slowly realizing that they are getting enslaved by gadgets and held hostage by the strong, almost irresistible impulses of the flesh and the varied allurements of the world.

Many of them know these impulses and allurements go against reason and their common sense, let alone, their Christian faith. They know they are showing symptoms of addiction.

Depending on the degree of severity, some can handle this predicament and can manage to come out of it. But there are others who find it hard, if not impossible. They seem to be under the total control of these errant impulses and deceptive allurements.

It’s time to remind ourselves of the truth that we need to surrender ourselves to God if we want to live our life properly. We cannot serve two masters, we are told, and God is the only Master we have.

Christ precisely told us: “He who is not with me is against me. And he who gathers not with me scatters.” (Lk 11,23) In short, we need to be with Christ if we want to avoid dispersion and dissipation, and to achieve unity, coherence and effectiveness in life.

A case in point are the many young people hooked to games in the computer and in their mobile phones. Many times they lose sleep, they eat at odd times, fail to study, pray and live normal family life. They fail to carry out even their basic duties, like keeping good hygiene.

Older people are not exempted from this predicament. Many have fallen into activism, ‘professionalitis’ and similar discrepancies, and all kinds of vices, difficult to extricate from. There is now a clear surge of inordinate, immoderate attachment to technology that fascinates people externally but impoverishes them internally.

We have to be wary of these developments and learn to take up the appropriate antidote. This is none other than learning the art of surrendering ourselves to God from whom, we are told, “all good things come.”

We should not be afraid to be “servants” of God, yielding ourselves to him rather than to our flesh, world and the devil. We have to be convinced that it is in surrendering to God that we would have our true joy and peace. He is the true source and keeper of life, power, wisdom, rest, etc.

This art of surrendering to God echoes what Christ himself constantly taught: that we need to die to ourselves or to lose our life to allow the life of God to take root and blossom in our life.

As intelligent and free beings, we always have to make a choice between God and ourselves, between good and evil, etc. This choice is done every step of our earthly life.

May we always make the right choice and know how to detect the subtle tricks of our wounded flesh, the fugitive world and the clever devil. We have to be clear as to whom we ought to be beholden. We need to feel indebted, because obviously we were not the ones who gave what we have.

Is it God, or is it ourselves, the world, or worse, the devil? Our problem is that we tend to feel self-sufficient, to make ourselves our own god, the standard and measure of things. We tend to think that our freedom begins and ends with ourselves, otherwise it would not be freedom.

That’s why there is a great need for us to surrender ourselves. The most difficult enemy that we have is our own selves, and specifically our will that often refuses to be subjected to God’s will, its creator and lawgiver. We prefer to make our will absolutely our own.

This is obviously a distortion of reality. Our will is a creature. It is not self-generated. It cannot simply be by itself. It has to submit itself to its Creator who gives it its proper law and direction.

Many people, especially the saints among them, have testified that it is when they surrender their will to God’s will they enjoy true joy and peace in spite of the unavoidable sacrifices involved.

Those sacrifices serve as purifying and expiating agents that would put our will in its proper orbit with God at the center.