To Abandon Yourself Is To Abandon the World

The Holiness of the Here and Now – Part 56

But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

–Galatians 6:14 (ESV)

The present moment is, for you, like a desert where you can see nothing but God himself, and where you enjoy him, concerned only with what he wants from you. Everything else is left alone, forgotten, abandoned to providence.

–Jean Pierre de Caussade

In the title of Jean Pierre de Caussade’s Abandonment to Divine Providence, the abandonment referred to is the abandonment of your self  (your soul, your life) into the hands of God. You deliver yourself over to God and leave yourself there. But in the quotation above, de Caussade refers to your abandonment of the world. From this perspective, you are letting go, not of yourself, but of everything else.

The desert spoken of here is the place you find yourself in after you have given yourself over to God (the place is really more like a condition or a state of mind). When you give up yourself, you find that you no longer relate to the world around you in the same way. We can compare this to the apostle Paul looking at his crucifixion with Christ and seeing it in a new perspective, from which he continues to live, and it is the rest of the world that has died.

In a desert, you are far away from anything else, so that you can see nothing else, only desert. That is why the metaphor works so well. A world crucified to you is a world far away, even as you live in it.

The Holiness of the Here and Now is a daily devotional that I am currently working on. When I am finished, there will be 365 chapters like the one above. Meanwhile, I am sharing this work-in-progress. Like the Facebook page to see content like this in your feed.