In the internet, it is common to see people posting in their blogs things like “weight-loss project D-100,” or “10 self-help books that forever changed my life.” Apparently, people in all parts of the world are constantly striving to change their lives for the better, whether that change is physical or psychological. They report their improvements live via the web, and share their knowledge (or “wisdom”, or “know-how”) with the people all around world, who themselves are scavenging for “the insiders’ knowledge” to accumulate the maximum number of information they need to maximize their chances of success in an ever-demanding society. Everyone is restless. They are ever-more keen in their endeavors to make themselves a better person, to have better career, to accumulate greater wealth, and ultimately, to achieve lasting happiness. They want to be the superman, the over-achievers, so that they may add another zero in their salary. They wake up at 5 AM to jog in early January; they stay up until 4 AM to finish the second draft of their senior thesis; they embrace their famished stomach and look away from the clock that points to 8PM. They train their mind and body, happily embracing their hardships for the faint light at the end of a tunnel that seems to be stretched ad infinitum.
Certainly, we are in the favor of God by not letting ourselves be idle. For, in Thessalonians 3:10 it says:
“…the one who is unwilling to work shall not eat…”
Or, in Philippiians 3:14:
“I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Jesus Christ.”
However, in the next chapter of the book (Philippians 4:13), it says:
“I can do all this through Him Who gives me strength.”
We all want to better ourselves by our own will, our own effort, our own strength. But, have we ever seeked God’s compassion? Have we ever dropped ourselves so low in front of Him that he may pity us and raise us back? Have we ever admitted our weaknesses and wrongs in front of Him that He may sympathize with us and grant us the strength we need?
Are we that dignified?
I certainly thought so for a while, until I received this verse from the Bible in the new year:
“Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”
It is strange, for in words we readily admit our lack of abilities yet in action we depend on that alone.
And thus, let us strive to achieve not by our head but by our knees.