The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. – Psalm 23:1-3
This word probably first comes to the mind of many people when they hear a word, "submission." In certain situations, like competitive sports or even wars, it is true that to submit is to lose. Similarly, to surrender is synonymous to giving up. It happens when we are weak and powerless and our capacity and the will to continue have been exhausted.
But, in God, submission ultimately leads us to winning.
To submit to God is to offer our total trust in God. It is to believe that God is at work to bring goodness into our lives. To surrender to God is to invite God into the moment and let God take the lead rather than to try control it by ourselves. And the shepherding God will lead us to green pastures and quiet waters and guide us along the right paths. (Psalm 23).
This knowledge is very much engrained into my head. I can even offer numerous testimonies of my own of the times God led to goodness when I submitted to God. Still, I often find myself being caught by an anxiety in an uncertain situation and trying to make a quick turn to a direction where I think it’s the best, rather than humbly waiting for God's lead for the next step. When this temptation arises within me, I remind myself that I must submit to God by offering this prayer:
Welcome, welcome, welcome.
I welcome everything that comes to me today
because I know it's for my healing,
I welcome all thoughts, feeling, emotions, persons, situations, and conditions.
I let go of my desire for power and control.
I let go of my desire for affection, esteem, approval and pleasure.
I let go of my desire for survival and security.
I let go of my desire to change my situation, condition, person or myself.
I open to the love and presence of God and God's action within. Amen.
(The Welcoming Prayer by Father Thomas Keating)
My favorite part of this prayer is to “let go.” It captures the essence of what it means to submit and surrender to God and to invite God to work in us and in the moment. I have this prayer written on a piece of Post-it note placed on the edge of a computer monitor in my office. I often recite this prayer out loud with my hands open toward heaven, in a humble attempt to rid of my humane desires and to be open to welcome everything coming from God.
Today, I would like to invite you to join me in this prayer.
About Rev. Arum Kim
Pastor Arum joined this loving St. Thomas family in June last year as an associate pastor, with her husband Joon and their two daughters, Virginia and Charlotte (who was born shortly thereafter, and now already a happy 7-month-old).