Take Me Reflection by Elizabeth Reardon
“Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding,
The first time I heard this beautiful song by Ben Walther, I instantly recognized its Ignatian underpinnings. The Sucipe prayer by St. Ignatius is one that, as with Ben, speaks profoundly to a need in my own life- a need for surrender. A need to relinquish any misconceptions or desires to control situations, or cling to any gifts that I have received in my life.
"Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship." Romans 12:1
Understanding that all that I have or am comes from God does not imply a lifetime warranty or use thereof. Rather, it is accepting each gift or grace for the limited time that it may be given to me and expressing my heartfelt gratitude in these moments. Be prepared for surprises too, for God is the ultimate giver and will not be undone in love or mercy. Perhaps you have yet to discover a particular talent within, or a way to use that talent.
Not to worry, when needed God will seek to bring forth the best use of that gift. All he asks of us is to “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning" Luke 12:35
God is calling us to be transformed- ready to be moved, to follow his lead and this entails letting go. Trusting that even in the most uncertain times, that the One with the map will guide and accompany us each step along the way. And sometimes we may become so certain of our place in life, of our abilities or lack of, that we cannot see the greater opportunities he has in store. We resist taking on this new perspective, and in doing so become fearful of losing what was never ours to lay claim to in the first place. Detachment then from all that impedes our following God's will is so essential in our discipleship.
"Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it." Matthew 16:24-25
A once in a lifetime decision to follow Christ? Not hardly. It is a daily turning of heart and surrendering of self (body and soul) to Christ that is being asked of us. In our doubt and trials as well as in our faith and joys our Risen Lord asks for our trust, our will, our understanding -our all.
For, "I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me." Galatians 2:20
What is promised through surrender?
There is much peace in actively and fully surrendering. In knowing, that He is God and we are not. In allowing God to be the primary mover in all that we do. In this invitation of surrender, and petition for direction we continually experience his unfailing love.
Father, when my own steps are unsure or I seek to better secure the path ahead please lead me on. For those times I rest in the grace that surrounds me when you are asking me to move, help me to find my security in you. All I am and do are because of You- and this life I live is Yours. Take All of Me.
What if we each held onto the life we are living presently? Would we be able for God to move us where he wanted us to be would the safety we feel be worth the treasure that awaits?
All Rights Reserved, Elizabeth Reardon and Allison Gingras, 2016
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Elizabeth Reardon, MA of Religious Education Loyola University, is Director of Parish Ministries for Saint Paul and Resurrection Parishes in Hingham, MA, radio show host of An Engaging Faith, and writer at Theologyisaverb.com. With a heart for connecting the faith to the work of justice and reconciliation in our communities, she hopes others will become captivated with the “more” that our faith offers.