I Surrender – A Conversation With My Son About Hand-Raising

My son is always curious about song lyrics. He is a listener. Even at 6, he want to know what things mean and why song writers write the things that they do.

At summer camp with our youth group this year, we sang “Only One Standing” by Tim Timmons . (go buy this album – it’s awesome) The lyric says, “I surrender all, would you tear down all these walls….”

Logan loves the song and often asks that I play it during our ride to school. A few weeks ago he said, “what does surrenderall mean?”

“What?” I responded.

“Surrenderall, what does it mean?” (he slurred the words together so that I could not understand what the heck he was saying.)

Finally, I figured out what he was trying to say. I explained that surrender means to give up and we worked through the lyric as we drove. God’s Kingdom will be the only one standing in the end, so it’s best to surrender our lives to him now. We choose not to try to make a big deal of ourselves, but give our lives to serve God.”

“Oh – that makes sense,” was his reply – as if I just told him that we were going to McDonalds. Before I could attempt to show off my deep theological skills some more, he interrupted and asked that I turn the song back on.


Yesterday, he again asked that I turn that song on. I love listening to him sing along. All of the sudden he asks, “why do you raise your hands when you sing this song? You look ridiculous.” (he has seen me lead it multiple times)

I had to smile.

He loves Batman cartoons, so we talked about how when a bad guy gets caught in batman they put their hands up. “What does that mean?” I asked.

“It means they give up.”

“Yep, and that is what it means when we raise our hands when we sing. It is a way that we worship by showing God that we give up – we surrender.”

Again, a brief reply – “oh.”


I turned the song back on and we drove for about a minute or so in silence. Then I glanced into the rear view mirror and watched him singing, “I surrender all, would you let my kingdom fall, for yours alone will be the only one standing,” with both hands raised in the air and eyes closed.

It was awesome. An incredible moment to be a dad.

Then he opened his eyes and saw me watching him and immediately snapped out of his moment of worship…another lesson for another day.


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