How often have you watched television or heard people around you say, “I did it all by myself?” Really? Did you? When you were born, how much control did you have in that? Did you feed yourself as an infant? Did you have your own apartment at 18 months? Who taught you to read? Who gave you life’s very breath? Did you not attend school where teachers invested in you?
I think what is meant is that you did a lot by yourself and that more adults and peers should have cared for you or done a better job. That is a tragedy and a subject for another day. I want to talk control.
The sooner we admit we aren’t fully self-sufficient the better. That way we can more often look out for others and concurrently accept more help. We found that out this week.
At a conference in Denver I got a call from Jana stating that she wasn’t feeling well. Without me, how could we ensure the safety of our kids? After summing up the situation I realized I had to come home. But it couldn’t be done quickly. And we couldn’t do it very quietly. We needed help. We have multiple college degrees and serve people in our respective professions. We can drive cars, cook for five, preach to hundreds, save patients’ lives, and balance checkbooks (ok, not really). So we consider ourselves pretty self-sufficient. But this moment revealed again that nobody is. We all depend on the help of others, maybe even government intervention sometimes. And for those who share my view – God’s grace.
Because I could not do it on my own, I asked for help. Fortunately a taxi was available (because I didn’t have a car), an airplane was leaving at the right time (because I’m not a pilot), Diane and Brian sacrificed 10-12 hours of their Tuesday (because I wasn’t in town), and a few dozen people prayed (because they consider us worthy to be prayed for).
Within seven hours of deciding to return I arrived, indebted to many and glad to be at the best place on earth – home. Though now again the protector of my castle, I sat in silence as my four people slept. It is with every breath that I must be grateful and acknowledge I don’t control my existence any more than a sailboat captain controls the weather. My response is to ask for God’s grace and to continually respond in kind to those who aid me in my storms. It’s humbling, but it’s pretty cool too.