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How do you help yourself if you rely on God?

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I was trying to explain to someone the other day how God wants us to rely on him for all our wants and needs. "But God helps those who help themselves," he pointed out.

"Well, it's about our attitude," I answered lamely.

But the truth is that I was at a bit of a loss. How does one reconcile the need to not only trust God, but to rely on him, with the need to be responsible and adult?

I was given the answer this morning: The solution is service. We rely on God, but in turn we are to serve him. This is how we take care of our duties while at the same time casting our needs on him.

A life of service is contrary to American values. This is the land of the self-made man, the home of the rags-to-riches story. Our culture tells us to do everything ultimately in service to ourselves -- an ideal that appeals very much to our fallen nature.

To let go of that message requires two simultaneous steps: abandon our cares to God, and commit ourselves to his service. This lifestyle is not reserved only to St. Francis of Assisi and Mother Teresa; every Christian is called to it.

It's easier said than done. I'm still struggling against it in many ways — my own nature is no less fallen than anyone else's. But it's good to formulate and meditate on the ideal to help open our hearts to it.

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