I was watching TV and observing how, as a culture, we glorify the macho/strong guy who doesn’t need anyone or anything – he is totally self-sufficient. I used to think I was supposed to be that way, too. I mean, I went to all the latest “self-help” seminars, had my affirmation tapes running in the car, kept my thoughts positive. That is, until my life fell apart and God brought me to my knees.
“I am at the end of my rope,” you have heard people say. Until then, we are often too confident, too self-reliant, too full of ourselves…too independent of God.
Howard E. Butt, Jr., vice chairman of the H. E. Butt (H-E-B) Grocery Company, puts it so well in his article, “The Art of Being a Big Shot:”
It is my pride that makes me independent of God. It’s appealing to me to feel that I am the master of my fate, that I run my own life, call my own shots, go it alone. But, that feeling is my basic dishonesty. I can’t go it alone. I have to get help from other people, and I can’t ultimately rely on myself. I’m dependent on God for my very next breath. It is dishonest of me to pretend that I’m anything but a man — small, weak, and limited. So, living independent of God is self-delusion.
Now, in the process of becoming Catholic, I see things through new eyes. In studying the lives of the saints and observing individuals around me centered in the Faith, I have seen what STRENGTH really looks like. And it isn’t about me doing anything to build myself up, but rather about letting go of “me” and choosing to place my focus on the one source of all power, our Lord and Creator.
During this Lenten Season let’s seek ways to empty ourselves, to pour out the stagnant water from the jar, and make room for the living waters of the Christ at Easter to fill us and make us new.