Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Saying Yes

“I urge you, then, pursue your course relentlessly. Attend to tomorrow and let yesterday be. Never mind what you have gained so far. Instead reach out to what lies ahead. If you do this you will remain in the truth. For now, if you wish to keep growing, you must nourish in your heart the lively longing for God.”[1]

It’s interesting how our will is changed as we yield it to the Greater Will, how our human will, once so focused on the distractions of inordinate affections and false realities, begins settling into the rich, fertile depth of God’s love for us. We begin to see. We begin to understand. We begin to sense invitations that beckon to us, calling us to yield more of ourselves in selfless surrender. Yet, in our seeing and in our understanding, what we see and what we understand will only and always be little more than an aroma of something, Someone, that defies our finite abilities. The best we can do is yield ourselves.

Selfless surrender can be more than a little scary. Fear, if we allow it, can grip us like hardened blocks of concrete around our feet. Selfless surrender, after all, is replete with that variable that we call the “unknown.” Yet, the gentle, quiet voice of God calls with undeniable invitations. “Come unto me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.”[2]

The unknown fourteenth century writer encourages me. “My dear friend in God, go beyond your intellect’s endless and involved investigations and worship the Lord your God with your whole being. Offer him your very self in simple wholeness, all that you are and just as you are, without concentrating on any particular aspect of your being. In this way your attention will not be scattered nor your affection entangled, for this would spoil your singleness of heart and consequently your union with God.”[3]

I desire to follow Christ more perfectly, to know him more intimately, and to say yes to him in all that he so carefully and graciously reveals of himself. It’s not enough to say that I am following him or to say that I know him. The world is filled with well-meaning words of assentation, filled with beautiful songs and faith-declarations. But I simply cannot live my life as just another well rehearsed song being sung.

[1] The Cloud of Unknowing, Ch. 2, para. 2
[2] Matthew 11:28
[3] The Book of Privy Counseling, Ch. 3, para. 4