I am responsible for me. It's not that God can't do all the work, but what I have found is that He wants me to be part of the process as well. I can't pray to lose weight yet refuse to monitor my caloric intake and ignore exercise. I can't ask God to find me a job, yet refuse to take one that is offered to me that doesn't meet all "my" requirements. I can't pray to God for a peaceful resolution to a conflict with a person, yet go around bad mouthing and re-telling people how I have been wronged by said person. It's like this joke:
A man was standing on his front porch and his neighbor came by and told him that a flood was coming and that he had better evacuate. The man replied, "No worries. God loves me and will save me." Well, the flood came down his street and came up to the level of his porch. A police officer then came down the street in a boat and said "Sir, the flood is only going to get worse, climb into the boat and we'll move to higher ground." The man then answered back "No, that's okay, God loves me and will save me." A few hours later, after the man had to move to the roof of his house because the flood waters had overtaken his home a helicopter hovers over the man and drops down a ladder to lift the man to safety. Sure enough, the reply was the same, "No thanks. God loves me and will save me." Sadly, the flood waters rose so high that the man drowned. The man is now in heaven and says to God "Where were You during my time of trouble? I thought you loved me." And then God calmly answers back "What are you talking about? I do love you. Don't you remember? I sent you your neighbor, a police officer and a helicopter."Two lessons learned:
- God provided for the man, but the man refused to take his help.
- Help = Love
Love can come from a variety of sources and but usually it is our pride that gets in the way of taking it. And although pride is never really justified, it is understandable where it comes from. If your whole life someone has been telling you that you are stupid or instilled some sort of irrational fear into you and then you finally resolve to undertake some sort of endeavor and this person wants to help you, you may become defensive and say "No! I can do it myself, I don't need your help." I am ashamed to admit this, but I can recall many times either saying or thinking this very thing. It's hard habit to break, especially if in the past people have offered their help and really they had ulterior motives the whole time. Or if there was a person who you told you repeatedly that they loved you, but in the end you found yourself betrayed one way or another. No one likes to set themselves up for heartache or hurt. It's a tough spot for sure and defensive-ness is often the knee-jerk reaction to any future offers of help from other people.
So what exactly am I getting at here? I guess that it is this.
We HAVE to let others love us. When we deny their love, we are ultimately denying God's love for us. Yes, there are crummy people out there, wolves in sheep's clothing as they say. But, there are also some very good people out there who legitimately want to love us and, whether they are conscious of it or not, they are expressing God's love for us through their actions. These are the same people fulfilling the words that St. Paul says in his epistle to the Galatians: "Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2 We are denying these helpers/lovers the chance to fulfill the law of Christ, and that's not nice. Not nice at all.
I know it's hard, and it's not something you can jump into all at once. I take baby steps towards this. If someone offers to open the door for me when my arms are full, I say yes. If someone sees that I'm under the weather and offers to make dinner for my family, I say yes. If someone notices that I am not my "normal self" and they ask me what's bothering me, I tell them and don't pretend everything is okay when it is not. Now, obviously I use discretion and I don't blab out every single detail to every single person who asks because I also need to be mindful of what St. Paul says a teeny bit later "For each one shall bear his own load." Galatians 6:5. Certainly measure the severity of your issue with the known severity of the one asking you the questions before you respond. I heard a story of a priest and his wife who, while sitting and watching their very premature baby struggle for life in the NICU, had a woman come in and try to "help" by saying she knew how they felt because her dog had been really sick once. While maybe this lady loved her dog as much as a child, comparing the two really wasn't the right thing to do in my opinion. Perhaps the better response could have been "I know this is tough time for you. Let me know what I can do to help."
Well friends, I think I may have come full circle on this part of my ramblings on health. Maybe for the balance of the month I'll post on things like healthy eating and the like. I hope you enjoyed this. I know I did.
143 My Friends!