This month’s theme at COR is Surrender & Trust. We might do well to reorder that to Trust and Surrender. Trust is the prerequisite for surrender.

It seems to me we all have an instinct for Surrender, that giving over to something bigger than ourselves. On some level, we all want to surrender! We’re made for it. Surrender doesn’t mean defeat – raising the white flag of giving up. Rather, it’s the dynamic of finding my place in the scheme of things, of giving over to the goodness that is in me, around me, and beyond me.

Since I was a child one of the places I’ve experienced the palpable call of surrender is at the beach, standing at the water’s edge. And at night, with the immense ocean under a sky of seemingly infinite stars, I could feel the pull of wanting to give over to something larger. Far from diminishing, I’ve always found it an extraordinarily alive feeling. Perhaps it’s the same for some of you.

This image is expressed beautifully in Les Chemins de la Mer by Francois Mauriac: 

“…there are some who realize even from their earliest days that they are heading toward a dark sea. They already taste the salt on their lips, and the bitterness of the wind surprises them. When finally they cross over the last dune, they find themselves in a world of windblown spume and stinging sand, and word of endless passion. It is then they must make the decision: to be swept into the sea or to turn around and retrace their steps.” 

That is surrender. It’s a whole different ballgame than “giving up” or “giving in.” And it requires strength to surrender.

Without surrender, our Survivor Self likes to pretend that it runs the universe. That usually leads to concluding that “everything is my fault” or it’s equally miserable opposite, “nothing is my fault.” Most of the time we alternate between the two. True surrender is freedom from all of that.

If surrender is an act of giving over, I propose that trust is the quality that makes surrender possible. Once we trust, we can surrender. But how do we know who and what to trust? That’s a very important question. I’d say one necessary quality for trust is discernment.

As we explore the topics of Surrender and Trust this month, share your thoughts with us on Facebook. How do you know when to trust? When have you experienced surrender? When have you been burned? What’s the cost of not trusting and surrendering?

All the best,