I don’t believe there is a being somewhere named “God.” I don’t believe in a God who acts magically to grant my wishes or who wants me to surrender my will. When I use the word “God” I am referring to that depth of being out of which I emerge, but into which my mind cannot go.
We’re taught that surrendering to God is a good thing, but what does that surrender mean? In practice, doesn’t that usually mean surrendering to a church, to a religion, to a priest, to a practice? Those who try to surrender to God usually end up serving a very human intermediary. So what would it mean to get past that?
Once we realize that God is not a mere person, then we can understand that spiritual surrender does not mean obeying a boss. It means giving ourselves to the river of life. It means blossoming from the root of our being.
The early church baptized in “living water” which means a moving stream. Why do you suppose they chose moving water? I believe they were not baptizing into institutional Christianity, but into life itself. The world will not be very different if you call yourself “Christian,” or “Jewish” or “Atheist,” but it will be instantly different if you blossom from the root of your being.
It is very important to dedicate ourselves to the whole of life and not just to a sect. Just as one cancer cell can eventually make a whole body sick, so an individual who has not been consecrated to the whole can spread sickness even if he or she is perfect as an individual. If we do not constantly harmonize our will to the common life, even our goodness may be a problem for someone else.
True baptism should not initiate us only into the church. It should baptize us into the common life. If, at the end of your baptism, you’re just a Presbyterian or Catholic, you didn’t get all the way into the river. If at the end of your confirmation, you’re just a Christian, you’ve not understood the gift that Jesus was trying to give. The whole Universe is yours…and mine. But to live in that New Being we have to surrender the partitions – all of those things that we’ve been told define us – our country, our religion, our job, our status, our possessions, all of those things segregate the vastness of our true world.