Apr 26 2017
Living Ageless in the Lord has little to do with longevity, or denying birthdays; rather it means an ongoing and continuous growth toward God. Essentially living ageless in the Lord means a deepening spirituality that correspondingly minimizes our worldliness and moves us toward The Divine. Living Ageless in the Lord inevitably leads us on a road toward transcendence and ultimately to surrender of self.
As I read Wilfrid Stinissen (Into Your Hands Father) I enter into a new dimension of Living Ageless in the Lord. In my last two blogs I talked about the first two steps in Stinissen’s trilogy of mature spiritual development. The first stage deals with obedience to carrying out what God gives us to do in life, i.e., our vocation, our relationships, our participation in the Church, etc. In the second stage we devote ourselves to a particular ministry… something we have identified as good, and something we have decided to do. In the third stage says Stinissen “… we surrender ourselves and our faculties completely to God.” He goes on to say, “In the second stage it is I who does God’s will, I do it for God. In the third stage, it is God who uses me; God does it through me.”
Surrender is a hard word, and even a harder path to walk. However this surrender is different; while it involves loss, the loss is only what we didn’t need in the first place… our own ego. This surrender paradoxically bespeaks enormous gain. We give over our “self” and become merely an instrument of God. As I surrender I gradually give over not only my will but also, says Stinissen, “all of my potential, all of the powers of my soul.” As surrender deepens it is God who carries out Divine Will through me; my ego gradually disappears as I “die to my self.” Surrender emerges when I grow to love God so much that I offer everything to God.
I must say that these words scare me. The notion of surrendering self seems a bit like looking over a mile high cliff. How could I ever give up my ego while I remain mortal? This level of self-surrender seems beyond me; too saintly a consideration as I’m buffeted by the many “things of this world.” I confess that the concept leaves me flummoxed! Surrender causes me to stretch for the essential paradoxical task of my life… I must give-up my ego self so I can gain my true self. Wilfred Stinissen has helped me to see this clearer and in so doing brings me a step closer to Living Ageless in the Lord.
Richard P. Johnson, Ph.D.