Our Little Submissions
– writer, speaker, broadcaster oncontemporary spirituality.
It begins with a realisation, can plunge us into grief, even threaten oursecurity, then bring forth new life. At least that’s been my experience.I’m not sure the human soul has ever fancied the idea of submission. And it fancies it even less in an age where personal freedom is deemedsupreme. The legitimate feminist critiques of male domination, thecontinuing horrors of the modern slave trade and the steady parade of civic and religious leaders exposed as frauds have led to cynical distrust
of authority and power. And as my rst boss told me, we are all our
own masters. Each of us has a kingdom called ‘my life’ to which we feelsuitably entitled to rule. All of this places the idea of submission close toSharia Law on contemporary popularity lists. And yet the law of love demands submission, the fullness of life requiresit, and the Lord of All manifested it in all its radiance.
The act of submission is a sacricial gift that places the will of another
above our own. And as I recently discovered, it happens in fourprogressive stages.
The rst stage is the moment of recognition. We are presented with
a need, a truth, a person to which the decision of submission must bemade. For me it was the realisation that my wife needed a new beginning. A long-held dream of hers had been to live and work abroad, and it was
time for a fullled dream. As her life-mate, I had signicant power in
seeing this wish granted or denied.The recognition stage places the choice of submission before us. Andthis
is what separates the Christian notion of submission from thedeadly substitutes of coercion, manipulation or domination. Christian