When in your life have you felt most alive? For me times like these come to mind: finding out how fast my jet ski could go in beautiful Ozark lake country, learning to lope for the first time during my childhood horseback riding lessons, skiing above the tree-line along a snowy ridge in Colorado, and floating in huge ocean swells in Mexico.

These experiences have some common denominators—a bit of risk, an element of being outside of myself, and the requirement that I give up some control and surrender to something bigger—the lake, the horse, the mountain, the waves. I guide the horse and move my body to direct my skis, sure, but there are about 57 things that could go wrong in each of these scenarios, and if I think I’m the one holding it all together, I’m deluded.

In a similar fashion spiritual “aliveness”—what Easter is all about—comes from surrender. I do nothing to achieve my own spiritual vitality—it’s all God. I can’t control anything about the process with bad or good works, and the result is vivacity, freedom, and elation that puts even the best earthly thrill-seeking to shame.

“But because of His great love for us, God, Who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.” Ephesians 2:4-5

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