Have you ever been challenged in your faith? Have you ever had to just let go and surrender, knowing that everything would turn out? Sometimes we have to get uncomfortable so that we can grow and allow new things to enter.
Little did I realize that I’d soon be learning a new lesson in surrender myself. Even though I grew up Catholic, I call myself spiritual rather than religious. Since my old Sunday school days, I have even dismissed religion. I’ve preferred Buddhism to Catholicism in my personal spiritual ego’s view.
With my move from Europe to Houston, I was surprised with all the religious symbolism that was now displayed as a billboard constantly in front of me. I began to wonder if this wasn’t a sign of some sort. (Literally!) Had I explored Zen to its fullest that now my quest was to return to my roots?
Quickly rejecting this idea, I continued with my meditation practice. I’m in a place in my life where I’m going through some personal struggle. My move has been a huge culture shock for me. I left everything for love (but that is another story). My faith has been tested, as I also left behind my corporate job and a great salary, to focus entirely on my new life and writing. Suddenly I had no means of income! That was frightening and in turn, has made me extremely uncomfortable. I’m not afraid to admit that I’m a control seeker. I no longer had control and this has catapulted me in a certain spiritual crisis of sorts. Obviously a huge lesson, for I had no idea how to surrender and have faith that everything would turn out.
I was relating my personal woes to a consciousness coach of mine, who out of the blue, asked me the question that was to change everything regarding my belief system.
“Do you pray?” She said.
I looked at her blankly.
“Yes, pray,” she repeated.
“I meditate,” I said with authority.
“So do I, but I also pray.”
“Why?” I asked naively.
“Because it opens up your spirit to God. It’s an act of surrender, unlike what you have with meditation.”
As I looked at her dumbfounded she gave me a challenge.
“Take one week, and get down on your knees every morning or evening. Pray for the faith and strength to get through the hard times you are having. I guarantee you that change will start showing up in your life. Surrender to God.”
I looked at her blankly. I hadn’t prayed since I was a little girl. Her suggestion seemed illogical. Yet, there was something inside of me that stirred with the suggestion. A little voice that said she was right. It was time to open up to God in another way I hadn’t done in years. It was time to pray.
That night I took my friend’s suggestion and realized just how much ego I had! I couldn’t do it. Sitting in lotus position for meditation was easy. Kneeling down in prayer asking God for help, was an act of surrender that my ego didn’t want to allow.
And that was my lesson. A lesson in humility and surrender – for if we cannot surrender before God in prayer, how can God hear our prayer?