Have you ever seen a small child fall into their mother’s or father’s arms? I’m talking about leaping from the side of a pool into outstretched arms in the water, pushing off from the top of a big slide with mom ready at the bottom, or just plain falling over with the confidence that mom or dad is going to catch them. When a child does this, we get a glimpse of what complete trust and complete surrender look like. As children grow, fear and caution grow too. Often this development is welcomed by a parent (no more jumping from things that are WAY too high!). But what if the parent is our Heavenly Father? What if we are the small child? God calls His children to cast out fear and to continually trust Him and surrender to His will. As ministers, we usually have a lot of balls in the air and enough items on our daily task list to fill a few weeks. Sometimes the Holy Spirit inspires us with a new idea, but we fight the prompting. “I already have too much going on to start something new!” “That would be awesome, but it will never work here.” “What if I try it and it’s a total failure?” Maybe the Spirit is prompting you right now with something even bigger and scarier: a new relationship, a career move, relocating, a new baby, a call to religious life, or working for justice in a situation. How can we surrender to God and trust He’s going to catch us? Let’s look to a Saint who experienced the promptings of the Spirit and surrendered into God’s arms.
St. Oscar Romero was appointed archbishop of El Salvador in 1977. He really hadn’t had big plans to shake things up. On the contrary, he had been appointed because everyone thought he would lead the Salvadoran Catholics quietly and with minimal dabbling in government affairs. But when his best friend, Fr. Rutilio Grande, was assassinated, he could no longer remain silent about the injustices happening in his beloved country. In the 1989 film Romero, there is a scene in which he is clearly in great anguish over the enormity of the battle he is fighting alongside his poverty stricken flock. The Holy Spirit has laid out the path for the Archbishop: a path to live his life in preference for the poor, to use love as his only weapon, to speak for those with no voice. He realizes it will possibly end the same for him as it did for Fr. Grande. Alone on a desolate road, he falls to his knees and utters a prayer of surrender: “I can’t. You must. I’m yours. Show me the way.” With those words, Romero jumps off the edge right into God’s outstretched arms. When Christ presents you with a new path, cast out the fear. When the crazy idea is clearly coming from the Holy Spirit, fall on your knees. When you start to doubt, trust. When the enormity of everything around you moves you right to the edge, surrender. I can’t. You must. I’m yours. Show me the way. Catch me! And jump