Great crowds were traveling with Jesus, and he turned and addressed them, “If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. Which of you wishing to construct a tower does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if there is enough for its completion? Otherwise, after laying the foundation and finding himself unable to finish the work the onlookers should laugh at him and say, ‘This one began to build but did not have the resources to finish.’ Or what king marching into battle would not first sit down and decide whether with ten thousand troops he can successfully oppose another king advancing upon him with twenty thousand troops? But if not, while he is still far away, he will send a delegation to ask for peace terms. In the same way, anyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple.”
Surrendering is so counterintuitive according to the rules of the world. We are taught to compete, attempt, win, advance, climb, run, etc. The goal that often gets the most attention in sports, business, finances, personal relationships, etc. is “the more, the better”. More trophies, more power statistics, more market share, more revenue, more profits, more money, more Friends, and on and on. So, why then does Jesus call us to surrender to this world and to give our lives over to His Plans for our lives? The answer is really quite simple – so simple, in fact, that a 5th Grade Student identified it. By seeking J.O.Y. in our lives, we are fulfilled in a deep Spiritual Way; both in this world and in the Next. You see, the 5th Grader saw J.O.Y. as meaning Jesus (J), Others (O), and Yourself (Y) in that order. The argument that they made was that, if you put Jesus and Others before Yourself, there was something inside of us that just feels “warm and fuzzy”. You feel actual joy by living the J.O.Y. principle. The reasoning that came back from the class as to how it works was that it’s just “how God made us”. By taking care of Jesus and Others, we are taking care of Ourselves. So, in Essence, surrendering to God really isn’t really losing anything. The Kids said that the “more stuff that they had” didn’t actually bring them happiness from the “outside-in”. Helping Others gave them a happiness from the “inside-out”. I guess that’s what they meant by the “warm fuzzies”.