Surrender to the Babe

The war is over. You lost. Be glad. Wave the white flag and SURRENDER.

These were the parting words from the priest who led the retreat that I was on a couple of weeks ago. Then he offered us little white flags to take home to remind us of his declaration.

As I sit here at my computer, I’m looking at the little white flag on my desk with a sense of relief. The same sense of relief and peace that washed over me when he first said it. A relief that calmed me to my bones like when you momentarily lose your child or grandchild in the toy department at Target and after what seems like an eternity of panic you spot them. That kind of relief.

It felt so good for someone to give me permission to stop fighting the wars of my own making. To free up the energy I use to try to fix situations, control the uncontrollable and change the unchangeable.  Someone to point out to me that the gig is up, you lost.

The weapons of fear, control, pride, and ego that we arm ourselves with each day are rendered useless. No amount of fear disguised as control, self-righteousness, or seemingly honorable motives can win the war. The only way to find the peace and contentment we long for is to wave the white flag and surrender to the love and grace of God. As the last verse of the Surrender prayer of St. Ignatius says,

Everything is yours; do with it what you will.
Give me only your love and your grace.
That is enough for me, Amen.

But losing this war is a really good thing. Being able to admit defeat and powerlessness takes true humility which is the first step on the road to surrender.

We begin the season of Advent this week. We are preparing to celebrate the birth of the one to whom we are to surrender. That birth didn’t just happen thousands of years ago, it happens again and again in us when we wave the white flag.

So, rejoice and be glad! The war is over and you lost! But oh, what you have found.


Surrender Prayer (Suscipe) of St.Ignatius

Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, my understanding,
and my entire will,
all I have and call my own.

You have given all to me.
To you, Lord, I return it.

Everything is yours; do with it what you will.
Give me only your love and your grace,
that is enough for me.

Joan Carey, Firstfruits executive director, is an author and speaker with a passion for helping women grow in their relationships with God. Her Ponder This book contains a series of modern day parables sure to get you thinking about and seeing our extraordinary God in our ordinary experiences. Joan invites you to use resources on this website for daily reflection in your journey to grow in God's loving care for you.
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