I have a pretty firm conviction that the secret of life is that it offers us a chance to love. I have a sign on my bathroom mirror that says, Today offers you another chance to love which was taken from abookmark I have. I look at that sign often and think about all the missed chances in my days. Chances to love mean chances to do something.
If Luther and any of the reformers missed the boat on one thing, it was this. Faith and acceptance are huge but if we miss the chance to love we miss the point of life itself – life as a reflection of the love of God. If you love someone you do something about it. You asked Peter if he loved You and then You said, if you do, feed my sheep. In other words, do something!
In our spiritual development it happens that a confusing dilemma over doing things and our resignation of ourselves to God crops up. There can be a conflict in disseminating between what we would do of our own volition and what it might be that God would wish us to do. We have, according to St. Francis De Sales, an eagerness to fly that dodges resignation. How then do we discern between resignation to God’s acting through us and, in our chances to love, our own will to do something we choose?
I’ve thought hard about this and though it may not be the best answer what I can come up with is that resignation means disposition. Resignation to God means surrendering to His will. But in complex day-to-day situations it happens more often than not that what God’s will is, is not perfectly clear and, therefore, that to which we resign ourselves is also not clear. Thus it strikes me that an attitude of disposing ourselves to God’s acting in and through us, that is, acceptance of outcomes that we’ve put in His hands, is resignation. In the sense that resignation and disposition strongly correlate with each other trust is the key factor, for we cannot resign ourselves to whom or what we do not trust; hence we would not dispose ourselves toward what we would not trust. There should be nothing we trust more than God – but there is! We trust ourselves more than God. In self we trust. Being creatures who instinctively seek the easiest paths, our resignation and disposition to self comes naturally. There can be no getting to You – to love - without overcoming and resigning the self.