Submission and Thomas Kelly

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, April 1, 2017

testament of devotion - Thomas Kelly

Submission and Thomas Kelly

I had never heard of Thomas Kelly before I read this excerpt. Born into a Quaker family in Ohio, he sounded like a fascinating person, wrapped in a difficult series of circumstances. He understood that he was excellent at educating people, and performed this task in any number of settings (besides being professor at several institutions of higher learning.)

However, it is his repeated difficulties that interest me, and how he managed to deal with them, live with them, and even surmount several.

When speaking of submission? I suspect I can see why Thomas Kelly might be content to submit to God. “Like Saint Augustine one asks not for greater certainty of God but only for more steadfastness in Him. There, beyond, in Him is the true Center, and we are reduced, as it were, to nothing, for He is all…” [1]

Ah. Talk about feeling very, very small compared to the magnificence, the awesomeness, the divinity, the immenseness of God. I can see where he is going with this thought.

Further along the path to submission and obedience, Kelly has this to say: “Once having the vision, the second step to holy obedience is this: Begin where you are. Obey now. Use what little obedience you are capable of, even if it be like a grain of mustard seed. Begin where you are. Live this present moment, this present hour as you now sit in your seats, in utter, utter submission and openness toward Him.”

Wow. Double wow. Those two quotes alone can convince me to have a different view of submission (and obedience, which goes hand in hand with submission). Dear Lord, help me to rein in my stubbornness. I know that You are the only one I can fully trust and submit and obey. Help me be more open and steadfast, Lord. Thank You.


Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my companion blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.  #PursuePEACE. My Facebook page, Pursuing Peace – Thanks! And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er


[1] Spiritual Classics, edited by Richard J. Foster and Emilie Griffin. (San Francisco, California: HarperSanFrancisco, 2000), 178.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s