SURRENDER TO SOAR
This month we are exploring the concept of cause and effect, which is fundamental to the teachings of Unity. In "The Law of Attraction" chapter in the Science Of Mind, Ernest Holmes writes: "Everything originates in the One, comes from the same Source. As God's thought makes worlds and peoples them with living things, so our thought makes our world and peoples it with our experiences. By the activity of our thought, things come into our life . . . . We have thought that outside things controlled us, when all the time we have had that within which could have changed everything and given us freedom from bondage."a
We have that within us which can change everything - that within us which is "Cause" - which molds the invisible substance of the Universe (the unformed ethers) into visible form and this "cause" is our thought, according to Holmes - I believe it's more than thought, more than conscious thought, at least - I like to use the term consciousness (a combination of thoughts, feelings, beliefs, values, attitudes and actions)!
Each week we are looking at a state of consciousness (cause) that can bring forth an experience (effect) that we desire to have for ourselves and for our world.
Today our state of consciousness is the state of surrender. The word "surrender" often brings up images of giving up, waving the white flag or conceding a loss. It sounds like an act that is extremely disempowering, but oh contraire, my friends, oh contraire!
Today I want us to see the word in a whole new light as we delve into how the consciousness of SURRENDER is really a launching pad for us to SOAR into a greater degree of livingness.
If I don't mean white flags, giving up, conceding, then what do I mean?
I once heard the spiritual practice of surrender defined as: "Having a belief that as deeply as we are willing to let go, Spirit is willing to fill us up."
Isn't that beautiful? Let me say that again and make it more personal. The spiritual practice of surrender means: "Having a belief that as deeply as I am willing to let go, Spirit is willing to fill me up."
If you want to know if you have mastered this spiritual practice, you can use this test.
Right now, take a deep breath and then completely empty your lungs. Hold it - Are you afraid that you won't have more air? [OK breath!] Was anyone concerned about not having any air! Great you have completely and totally surrendered to breathing!
Do you have that same kind of certainty that as deeply as you are willing to let go, Spirit is willing to keep filling you up? If not, you are in the right place this morning!
First I want to explore this idea of surrender by looking at a Biblical story. A great character of the Bible is Elijah, who was Jehovah's champion in a hostile land where polytheism -- the worship of many gods -- was the accepted religion.
Against overwhelming odds, he had slain hundreds of prophets of Baal, understandingly bringing down upon his head the wrath of Queen Jezebel. So, Elijah fled for his life.
Discouraged, tired, downhearted, he sat down under a juniper tree and cried out, "It is enough now, oh Jehovah, take my life away."b
Then, he dropped off to sleep. We are told that an angel touched him and instructed him to journey on. For 40 days, he traveled until he reached Mt. Horeb. There, he experienced the profound revelation that God is not in the wind or in the earthquake or in the fire but in the "still small voice."
Let's dissect this story metaphysically and in the context of surrender.
So, Elijah is fighting a polytheistic people, people who believe in many Gods. Could we look at this as our struggle against the many thoughts we make our gods? You know, the mind chatter, the self-talk, don't you? The old ideas, the fears, the littleness, the controller, the worrier, the judger, the one who believes in right and wrong, etc, etc. You know that, yes? Frankly, that can be a bit exhausting, can't it!?
So, Elijah is exhausted and runs away, discouraged, afraid for his life, dejected and sits under a juniper tree, and says, "That's enough, God, take me away." Now this sounds on the surface like a white flag experience, giving up, conceding -- doesn't it? But really, given how the story unfolds, it isn't that at all -- rather it is his moment of complete surrender to God - he's giving up the fight, the battle.
And when he did that, when he made a complete surrender to God letting go of the struggle of the warring consciousness, he fell asleep - he could rest.
The monkey mind was finally quiet, and it was then, and was only then, that the angel came to him and touched him. The angel symbolizes that a divine idea came to him.
And this idea was to continue his journey. And so he did and his journey was for 40 days. 40 is the universal number for all the time it takes for spiritual awakening - Jesus was in the desert for 40 days; Moses in the wilderness for 40 years, Buddha 49 days under the Bodhi tree, etc.
And after his journey of 40 days - or after taking all the time it took -- Elijah came to a profound realization. He realized that outer experiences (all the things that his monkey mind had been fighting so hard over) had no power over him, but that his power came from the "still small voice" of God.
This is a wonderful illustration of the power of ceasing the battle (the struggle), getting quiet and being willing to listen. Listen for the still small voice. It is the voice of God within us. When we surrender to the still small voice, we are really surrendering to the Will of God.
Perhaps we are afraid of this surrender. Perhaps we are afraid to say the prayer, "Thy will be done." Perhaps we are hanging on to an old belief that it means we won't get what we want. That we will have to live some boring, religious life or that we will have to sacrifice and struggle.
Could we see that differently today? Could we see surrendering to God's will as an experience of laying down the small self, the old ideas, the fears, the littleness - the warring factions in our mind. Could we see it as a willingness to step into the unknown, the greater, the Higher Self's expression, which is never fully revealed until the moment it is revealed. Let me say that again - Could we see surrendering to God's will as a willingness to step into the unknown, the greater, the Higher Self's expression, which is never fully revealed until the moment it is revealed.
Could we see surrendering to God's will as willing to lay down all that we think we know to the ONE who KNOWS beyond what we see.
Say with me: I am willing to surrender all that I think I know, to all that KNOWS.
What would it take for us to surrender the small warring mind, to the Divine Knower within? Could we just surrender? Could we claim, "Thy Will Be Done." And then rest in sweet assurance... We can do this more and more as we begin to really trust that God's will is for good.
In Living the Science of Mind, Ernest Holmes writes: "The Nature of God, the Will of God and the Power of God are one and the same thing. It matters not that countless millions of people through endless generations have misinterpreted this Will of God and thought that it meant limitation and suffering. The Nature of God is demonstrated when It is understood. It is proved when It is known. If the Truth about God is Happiness, Joy, Self-Expression and Abundance, then this is the Truth we should seek to demonstrate in our own lives."c
Ernest Holmes Science Of Mind: "We cannot be born of the Spirit unless we do the will of the Spirit and the will of the Spirit is goodness, peace, mercy, justice and truth. It is conscious union with God."d
Surrender means: Having a belief that as deeply as you are willing to let go, Spirit is willing to fill you up.
And when we truly surrender to that Divine Will - only then do we get to soar in the most glorious ways!
Remember, my friends, God's will is always for the expansion of life, for our greatest good and so we can know that truly as we SURRENDER we SOAR! And so it is.
aErnest Holmes Science Of Mind p. 295
b1 Kings 19:4
cErnest Holmes Living the Science of Mind, p. 140
dErnest Holmes Science Of Mind, p. 471