Being and Doing – 20 March – Self-Surrender
As one looks round upon the community to-day, how clear the problem of hundreds of unhappy lives appears. Do we not all know men for whom it is just as clear as daylight that that is what they need, the sacrifice of themselves for other people? Rich men who, with all their wealth, are weary and wretched; learned men whose learning only makes them querulous and jealous; believing men whose faith is always souring into bigotry and envy, every man knows what these men need; just something which shall make them let themselves go out into the open ocean of a complete self-sacrifice. They are rubbing, and fretting and chafing themselves against the wooden wharves of their own interests to which they are tied. Sometime or other a great, slow, quiet tide, or a great, strong, furious storm, must come and break every rope that binds them, and carry them clear out to sea; and then they will for the first time know the true, manly joy for which a man was made, as a ship for the first time knows the full joy for which a ship was made, when she trusts herself to the open sea and, with the wharf left far behind, feels the winds over her and the waters under her, and recognises her true life. Only, the trust to the great ocean must be complete. No trial trip will do. No ship can tempt the sea and learn its glory, so long as she goes moored by any rope, however long, by which she means to be drawn back again if the sea is too rough. The soul that trifles and toys with self-sacrifice never can get its true joy and power. Only the soul that with an overwhelming impulse and a perfect trust gives itself up for ever to the life of other men, finds the delight and peace which such complete self-surrender has to give.
These quotes are from ‘Being and Doing’ A selection of helpful thoughts from various authors arranged for daily reading.
Collected by Constance M Whishaw and first published in 1908 for members of the Being and Doing Guild whose object is to do all they can for the relief of suffering and misery.
Most of the writers are 19th Century Christians from Britain and Europe who were committed to living their faith through deeds as well as words – Being AND Doing.
For many years these words have kept me company and encouraged me on the journey of faith. I hope they will encourage others also.