Those of you who've met me or heard me on the radio know that I believe the key to peace and happiness is surrender. It is only when we can surrender our will to our higher power that we can achieve grace. Today in church, we read about Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. This Holy Week always makes me so emotional. I can't imagine knowing that I was going to be beaten, tortured, humiliated and nailed to a cross. Years later, even Peter ran away from his fate for a time before seeing a vision of Christ and finally returning to face his fate. Jesus, on the other hand, faced his impending death with strength and surrender.
When Jesus knelt in the garden, alone, to pray, this was his prayer:
Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.
This is how we should all pray. Ask for our desire but then surrender it in perfect trust and faith to our God because only God knows what's best. What if God had spared Christ? What if he had followed his son's will and made the crowd release not Barabbas but Jesus? We wouldn't have had Christianity. Despite its historical and human errors, Christianity has sustained 2,000 years of changes, wars, famines, inventions and innovations. Christianity has inspired people to be good, to do good. Christian faith is behind our most amazing pieces of artwork, music compositions and literature. Without my faith, I'd have no purpose, no raison d'être. Because of my faith, I believe in miracles, in goodness, in hope and immortality. I'm grateful every day for the faith Jesus' life, death and resurrection made possible.
This teaches me that God can't always answers our prayers as we wish. I trust that God knows better than I what's good for me. I trust in this so much that I don't pray for "things" anymore. I pray for strong faith, for continued trust and peace in people's hearts. When I pray for others, I will always say, "Dear God, please help Jane Doe to recover from her illness if that's your will. If it's not, please give her the faith, strength and courage needed to walk her path."
I know Christianity is a sore subject for some of you. But if you take out the immense human errors, what's revealed is a wonderful treasure map complete with compass. I believe Jesus' words are the treasure map and the Holy Spirit that resides in us all is our compass. Together, they will lead us home.