The root of the word obey was originally taken from a Latin expression meaning to give an ear to, to listen. So the idea of committing an attention is deeply rooted in the idea of obedience.
Today the word means to submit to the rule or authority of another; to do what is bidden. No doubt, the word means above all to submit to a higher authority; and although we of course take the word to mean an outer authority, it can equally mean an inner one.
I live, without a doubt, in the midst of a great confusion created by the oncoming rush of impressions from outer life. The pace and quantity of information reaching me has only increased over the last few decades; I find myself buried under an avalanche of often contradictory influences and impressions.
There is little consistency; and if I take a close look at the various little cogs and gears and myself that are attuned to react, I find that they don't have much consistency either. The third part of the prayer, I have not delivered myself sufficiently unto thee, is an acknowledgment that I have no anchor, no consistency. There is a consistency to be found in the spiritual salvation of the Lord; and it is an ancient and unerring one. Yet it is mostly forgotten today; it has become old-fashioned to understand that one ought to submit to the Lord. Spiritual traditions are abandoned and even mocked.
So why should I bother obeying? It isn't the fashion now.
A human being can only speak from the deepest parts of themselves on such matters; we all become responsible for what we are, in an inner sense, and of course we constantly betray ourselves. How much more, then, do we betray the Lord and the blessings we have been given? It's a constant thing.
I don't know how to obey. I am on a search for it. I know in my heart what the better principle is; I am aware of the good, even if I don't always embody it. But I need help getting there. I need the higher help of the inflow, without which there is no help. I can't reason my way to obedience; it has to come from the deepest and most convincing wish, a wish that asks for help.