A month ago, I was introduced to the Surrender Novena. In practice, I realize the importance of surrendering everything to God, and letting God be God. What prevents me from abandoning myself to the Omnipotent Father when I know He can do everything well? This is easier said than done. Hence, the Surrender Novena has become a timely gift helping me to let go of the reins and surrender completely to God’s plan for my life. I recommend you do a test run yourself and let “Jesus take the wheel.”
A novena is simply a prayer prayed for nine days and is often asking intercession through a particular saint. Why the mediator? Because we believe they are closest to God and can better aid us through their constant presence in heaven.
You may agree or disagree that God is in control. Perhaps you hold the Deist view that believes that God put things in motion a very long time ago and now just sits back and watches it all play out like a bad movie. Yet, the Christian perspective trusts that God is always close and attentive in our lives. Every single person is precious in His eyes, believer or not. We are His children, the work of His hands, willed into existence by His love.
We are given freedom from above to choose either for or against God. We are not puppets being manipulated for some sick cosmic entertainment. This freedom gives us the right to choose good or evil, to take a path for our lives that leads to ultimate happiness or unhappiness, misery, and pain. We are not hapless victims, much like dead leaves floating on the current of life heading downstream. We are active, intelligent players on this journey; that is only a journey and not the destination. We can choose to believe that there is something more than this life and pay attention to all the signs left by our loving Father, which steer us towards a greater purpose and destiny; or we can peer inward, focusing on ourselves in a self-made tiny narcissistic world. It is our choice, after all.
There are certain things within our grasp and control, but we can erroneously believe that everything is in our power to control. There is, however, much that is entirely out of our control, and that is the rub. Anxiety and stress come from wanting and expecting control over all things which realistically are simply outside our control. Our expectations for people, situations, and events further complicate the matter. It all feeds the delusion that I can be in control if I just work hard enough, pray long enough, or constantly worry. Not so. Whether we wake up tomorrow or not is entirely out of our control. It has taken me decades to learn to let go, to surrender to the One who is Lord over everything and has a immensely better plan than I.
Have I mastered surrender? No, of course not. I am a work in progress, but it is sweet progress indeed. What I have experienced thus far is greater peace, clarity, and less agitation. It has freed me to let certain situations and people that in the past made me nuts slip by me with nary a blip on my radar.
I believe it all boils down to trust. Do I trust that God is supreme, all-loving, merciful, and in Whom all things are possible, or do I think that little old sinful, selfish, mortal me knows best? I dare say we can look no further than our own families, nation, and world to see that we as humans will mostly tend towards self-interest, flawed ideologies, greed, and power. We are kind of predictable that way. It is a matter of physics, what do we let take up our days and hearts because it will leave room for little else.
So, I invite you to try something different. Let go, and let God be Lord of your life. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain, but it is up to you. You cannot simply go through the motions; you must believe with your whole mind and heart that Jesus will “take care of everything.” If all this sounds frightening, small-minded, archaic, or futile, go ahead keep running on the crazy hamster wheel to hell. I hope it works out for you. Afterall, how many of us have fallen for the delusion that “if I just work harder, I can gain control of every aspect of my life.” I prefer instead to place my future in the hands of the Almighty, all-powerful, all-loving God, and it is rather remarkable.
I wrote this down recently after praying the Novena for the third time. By personalizing it and writing down those issues and challenges that take up space in your head, helps you begin to release control of them, thus relinquishing them over to God. I cannot begin to tell you how pertinent and helpful this Novena is. I literally pray this repeatedly because I need to be constantly reminded to let Jesus take care of everything. I invite you to do the same.
Every situation. Every frustration. Every event. Every encounter. Every family member. Every co-worker. Every decision or lack thereof. Everything, I surrender to you.
Every insane tactic of evil in our nation. Every year. Every tear. Every moment. Every failed expectation. Every breath. Every morning and evening. Everything!
Every minute of every day. Every unanswered prayer. Every Mass and Eucharist.
Every whispered prayer. Every exasperated situation. Everything out of my control.
Every faulty decision of mine and of others. Every time I fail at remaining holy and choose instead the easy path. Every desire for the good of another.
Every hurt and exhausted moment I pour myself out for you through another. Every ingratitude and thoughtless word. Everything!
Jesus, I surrender myself to you ….TAKE CARE OF EVERYTHING!