26 November 2016

Five Minute Friday ~ The Greatest Surrender Ever

Thanksgiving is behind us.

Christmas is, literally, just days away - unless, of course, you are under the age of 12. Then it still seems like forever and a day away.

And I've had a song playing around in my head that I hadn't thought of for years.

Released way back in 1983 - like, when I was a sophomore in high school (over half of my kids have already achieved that milestone) - this song struck a chord.

Like the song in the wind - Lord you call me again:  surrender.
And I find myself drawn to your voice, as I lean toward the choice: surrender.
Like the echoing sound of the sea - Lord you echo in me: surrender.
Like a dancer I'll follow again, to the music within: surrender.
For the freedom I seek is the word that you speak, running deep as the song of my soul.
To be totally sure and totally yours and totally...surrendered.
Like the song of the rain, you repeat the refrain: surrender.
And I know that your music is mine, and I follow in time: surrender.
For the freedom I seek is the word that you speak, running deep as the song of my soul.
To be totally sure and totally yours and totally... surrendered.
Like the song in the wind - Lord you call me again: surrender.
And at last I can soar like a bird on the wings of the word: surrender.

Surrender is a hard word, for anyone... 

It is definitely counter-cultural and unpolitically correct. It was true way back when - as a competitive swimmer on an almost continuously undefeated high swim team, victory was THE goal. Surrender... giving up and just letting an opponent touch the wall before me... was unthinkable, no matter how bad my lungs and muscles hurt, no matter how hopeless a particular race "felt."

It remains true today - as I consider how hard it is to apologize to my husband or kids, to admit I was wrong and another was right. A cursory glance at social media proves I'm not the only to face this struggle.

Look through some of the common synonyms and idiomatic expressions for the word: abandon, capitulate, cede, concede, give in, hand over, quit, relinquish, renounce, succumb, yield, fall, knuckle, buckle under, cave in, cry uncle, eat crow, eat humble pie, play dead, put up the white flag, thrown in the towel, toss it in... None of these are typically considered favorably.

Once I began speaking and reading in French, the etymology of the word literally jumped off the page ~ literally, it means to give back over.

To return, or give back, to the one who had it originally. 

Thinking about this relative to the Christmas season rapidly descending upon us, I started wondering.  

What was Jesus' greatest act of surrender?
  • His incarnation and birth: "Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man..." (Phil 2, NIV)

  • His submission to human authority: "Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. 'He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.' When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly." (2 Pet 2, NIV)

  • His submission to death on the cross: "During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent surrender. Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him." (Heb 5, NIV)

I don't know the answer to that question - but I do know that the second two wouldn't have been possible without the first.

So... as Advent begins, as I look toward Christmas... This year, I'll be spending time meditating upon Jesus and the greatest surrender ever... and remembering that surrender isn't such a bad word.

Five Minute Friday - set a timer for five minutes and write whatever the given prompt brings to mind. In the interest of transparency, I typically add any photos and links AFTER the five minutes are finished. This time, I also added the Bible verses included (although I did get the references down) as part of this post.

Want to write with us? Head over to Heading Home, Kate Motaung's blog.


  1. Very nicely stated, Richelle! Thank you. You visited my a wife's reflections blog and commented. Thanks again.

  2. Wow. I love this. I love how you went to the origin of the word. I love your verse selection. I think I would have loved to see the play you have pictures of. This is a wonderful post. Thank you.

    Melinda (visiting from FMF)

    1. The play IS awesome - but all in French! Amazing how sometimes a familiar story in my second language becomes all the more powerful.

      Thanks for the visit!


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