If you’re like me, always trying to lose weight, you’ve probably heard that fad diets don’t work, that if you really want to lose weight you need a “change of lifestyle.” So many of us have tried all the quick fix weight loss programs there are, but as soon as we go back to our “normal routine”, the weight comes right back. In actuality, there is no “quick fix” when it comes to weight loss, it really does require a change in lifestyle. True weight loss requires that we change our attitude, recognizing the difference between the food our body needs to survive and the food our taste buds desire. No matter how much we want to lose weight, unless the desire is rooted in a deep, firm, internal, long term commitment not to a diet, but to a healthier attitude and lifestyle, no true change can take place.
What’s the difference between a prayer life that is merely a “fad diet” and a true change of lifestyle, well it’s the same as what separates the Adkins, South Beach, or whatever other fad diet you can think of from a true, lasting change of lifestyle that leads to weight loss. The virtue I’m speaking of is that of surrender. Fad diets are all about what YOU can do to lose weight. Through each fad diet I’ve tried I worked so hard, but my work was never enough, the weight always came back. However, when I decide to stop focusing on what I should do, but rather surrender to what is best for my body then I can truly grow into a healthier person.
In the same way, our faith lives should not be about what we can do to grow closer to God, but on how we can surrender most fully to God. You see, the focus should not be on ourselves, but on God. A life that is truly changed by prayer is a life that seeks the most intimate union with God. See, prayer is not just merely talking to God as most of us were taught in CCD, it is so much more than that…it is allowing God to live in and through us. In order to bring about this incredible union with our God, we need to surrender to God each and every day. The focus is not on me, but on the almighty and everlasting God.
Even Christ says in the Gospel “Amen, amen I say to you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above” (John 3:3). In order to see the Kingdom of God, we need to be reborn. Take a moment to think about that word…birth. Birth is not something we can do anything about. None of us willed to be born, there was nothing any of us could do about it. At our birth, we simply had to accept, to surrender, the fact that life had begun. In the same way, if we are to be reborn into the Kingdom of God, to truly allow Christ to live in and through us in life rooted in prayer, we need to surrender, to allow God to work without getting in his way through our pride, our sin.
“Heavenly Father, we know that without you we could never be truly happy as you are the source and summit of all good. We want to grow closer to you, to grow to be in greater union with you, through a life of true, profound prayer. Help us to surrender daily, in all humility, to your will. Use us as your instruments of love, in whatever way you wish, to build your kingdom here on Earth.”