What does it mean to surrender one’s life to the Divine?
It is to place the Divine between one’s perceptions/emotions/thoughts and one’s actions.
Perceptions/emotions/thoughts normally call out for action. An instinctual response.
For example, I might be getting invisalign to straighten my teeth. Thinking about this makes me feel anxious and self-conscious. There is no seperation between the thought and feeling self-conscious, or feeling bad and defensive and maybe a bit sad.
To surrender this issue to God is to insert God between the thought and the reaction of feeling self-conscious, such that God will guide my reaction to the thought.
To feel self-conscious in reaction to the thought means that I experience the thought as a problem, as something which diminishes me. The thought that I might get invisalign is in itself just a thought – in itself neither good nor bad. But normally I don’t experience the thought that way, so neutrally. I experience it fused with am emotional tremor, as something bad or unpleasant. Ultimately, it is not the thought as such but the emotional tremor which feels indistinguishable from it which has painful, negative consequences, draining me of peace of mind.
Surrendering the thought to God is to ask God to guide my reaction to the troublesome thought. To give over the reaction entirely to God, so that it is no longer my concern what my response to that thought should be. This doesn’t take away necessarily the emotional tremor associated with the thought. Not right away. But it gives it distance from the emotional tremor so that I can start to see that the thought might be conceptually seperable from the emotional tremor which has instinctively been associated with it.
To surrender to the divine is to live beyond brute instinct. To live more reflectively, infusing one’s deepest instincts with a sense of the overall awareness and perspective of life.
Surrendering to God is not passive. It is the opposite of that. It is to embrace living beyond socially cultivated, unreflective instinct.