Friday, January 25, 2013

Absolutely Scared to Absolutely Surrender

As a kid I watched Bugs Bunny cartoons... a lot!  It was my first repetitious exposure to classical music. For example, I love the Barber of Seville skit with Bugs Bunny giving Elmer Fudd all sorts of hair and scalp treatment. Now I have trouble blurring that from memory when I hear the music. However, that wasn't the value I exacted at the time.

It was the witty kiddy humor.

In one episode, there was an Evil Scientist (complete with flashing neon sign above the castle drawbridge declaring thus) who needed a rabbit to complete his experiment.  So, he sought to lure Bugs by his basic, animal desires using a voluptuous, albeit, mechanical female rabbit. After Bugs defeats the purpose of the evil scientist throughout the skit in clever ways (and re- re-disposes of the monster), this lure enters the final scene: it's your basic stiff, lipsticked robot female bunny.  Watching 'her' walk by, Bugs smugly notes and thumbs at it saying, "Ah. Mechanical."  He will not be fooled. But, the electric hare about faces, approaches Bugs, and lands a pucker on his cheek. At this point, his whole demeanor lights up with his new-found and enthusiastic purpose for living and declares, "So, she's mechanical!" and mimics her strut away from the camera. So ends the cartoon.

So enters the lesson for life.

Likewise, I've discovered a mechanical love and make a similar declaration.  I'm just not strutting.  Why would I do such a thing as fall in love with something obviously man-made? Well, for one, the lure slowly entered the scene.  I didn't know where it was leading!  You might say, "Oh, sure! Didn't see it coming? Ha! That's a good one!" Yet, I plead my innocence.  In fact, I invite you to partake in the reason for my amore.

Plain and simple, the "lure" for me is neither female nor robotic. It's an AudioBook app for my iPhone.  What makes it so special as to win my heart, or rather, my ears?  It's full of free, public domain recordings of classic literature. Whether the beginning subject of this blog post (Bugs) can be designated as a classic is debatable.

That's not the point.

The primary work I have in mind as I write this is that of Andrew Murray called Absolute Surrender. It uses a few OT verses (beginning in 1 Kings 20) to highlight how a conquering king asked another king that he was to defeat to surrender everything. The second king, in sincere humility, replied, and I paraphrase, "Everything I have is yours, Lord. I am yours."

Mr. Murray used the verses to illustrate the simple -yet profound- fact that God asks nothing less from us. He does not threaten us, nor are we compelled to comply. But, oh, how we resist!  How I resisted!  The thought of surrendering absolutely everything I have and everything that I am scares me, and it tests the reality of my supposed trust in Him like a sharp, two-edged sword. I want to surrender things that are mysterious to me, hard for me, or bothering me.

That's almost a no-brainer (and a no-hearter).

But, what about the things that are comfortable, familiar, and close to me?  Or, what about the parts of me that I'm even ashamed to admit to myself?  What about the lusts of the world that I welcome as relaxing distractions to help me unwind from focused work? What about the part of me that doesn't want to consider the prospect of my own temporary, mortal nature? Yes, I want to grow in Christ.  Yes, I want more than just for the Holy Spirit to indwell me.  I want Him to fill me. 

But, absolutely surrender all of me?

For those things to happen, for me to walk in the Spirit and be filled with the Spirit, I need fellowship with Christ. I need to confess my sins for He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). I really do need to surrender all.

It makes perfect sense.

But, I'm scared.

I desire to say, basically, is, "what is known to You, God, and unknown to me, that I am willing to do. Just ask. Just tell. And what I try to hide from you, Lord, let make me known to You. Let me confess my sins and thus restore my fellowship with You."  Jesus really is my all-in-all, says my mind and mouth.

Let my heart learn to count it all joy when I am tested.

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