You don’t realize you are acting like someone with something to lose until you no longer have anything to lose and the new way is clear. It helps explain why modern life is criticized as less spiritual than previous ages.
Nearly everything on a day to day basis is fixable now by our own efforts. Our opportunities for surrender are revealed by their requirements, and therefore when they are not required, they remain veiled. Imagine a new parent holding a child burning hot with fever in the middle of the night. If those people are alone on the prairie with no one to call on but the Lord, the opening of the human heart is mandated. At my house, we pick up the telephone and call the pediatrician.
This is a complicated area that is easily misunderstood. I do not believe that if you have the chance to go to the hospital you should stay home and pray. The sermon vignette about the man who, stranded on a roof in a flood, turns away a raft, a boat, and a helicopter because he is “waiting for God to save him” is one of my all time favorites. Swept away to his death by the flood, the man enters Heaven and questions God about why his faith was ignored. “Ignored? I sent a raft, a boat, and a helicopter!”
What I do believe is that we must be conscious of a pattern of relying on only ourselves, “ourselves” defined as our minds and our bodies to solve our deepest and most challenging personal problems. These core elements of our humanity long to be united with our spirit, but the spirit will only take them up and share power when they agree to one fundamental principle.
They must agree that they are nothing.