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God Helps Those Who Help Themselves

Aug 17, 2007
God Helps Those Who Help Themselves

I don't know about you, but I often don't know whether I should act on something or just surrender it to God and let it show up in my life.

Reviewing my experience with both these approaches, I find that both have worked and both have failed.

Sometimes when I surrender, things do show up. Sometimes nothing happens until I act.
And sometimes I do the wrong things, too, and it still doesn't show up.

Last Sunday, I got lost on my way to a new location. I decided to surrender. Intuitively, I knew when to turn left or right on each crossroad. Suddenly, remarkably, I found myself upon familiar ground and was able to complete my journey to my intended destination.

Last night, for example, no amount of praying helped me ease my hacking cough. Since I had not been able to sleep for three days because of coughing every time I dozed off, I was in a highly agitated state. Finally, out of desperation, I jumped out of bed, wrapped myself up in multiple layers of clothes, stumbled out into the freezing night, climbed into my car and drove around until I could find a pharmacy that was open past midnight. I found one; purchased a coughing-sneezing-aching-let-you-sleep at night medication.

For the first, in what seemed like a very long time, I slept very deeply and woke up completely refreshed.

I know that these are small and perhaps trivial examples, but they do point to a much larger theme. God helps those who help themselves.

Basically, you have to act in this world to get things done. Rarely do things just show up by themselves. This does happen, but not at a statistically significant level to count on it.
However, after you act, you have to let it go. You can't predict the outcome, and you definitely can't control it. Thus, I have come to the conclusion that our best recourse is to do what we can and then let go the results. Basically, we act and then we surrender.

Here is a small fable to illustrate my point:

In a time long ago, there was a clever merchant who bought some camels from a distant town and had to transport them to his home through the desert. On his first night in the desert with his new herd of camels, he did not know whether to take the time to tie them all up before he went to sleep that night in his tent. Should he just trust God and hope that he would be able to see them still flocked around in the morning? Should he make the effort of spending several hours tying up each camel to a stake in the ground?

Mysteriously, a monk showed up. He was passing through and asked the merchant for some food and shelter.

After dining the monk, the merchant asked him what to do about his camels.

"Tie up the camels," said the sage, "and trust God to keep them there until morning."

And here is a true story that illustrates it:

I once worked with an MLM person. I joined his team when he was making direct sales and doing $10,000 a month. He was a wizard at the cold call. He could charm the fleas off a dog with his words. He was also highly religious. What he did was make the effort and surrender the result. Avalanches of abundance flowed to him.

Then he became enamored with the surrender texts in his Bible and shirked the doing part. Within four months, everything that he had built up collapsed.

In conclusion, God is the ultimate mystery. Sometimes our life lessons are to be proactive and change the world. Sometimes it is to be passive and let the invisible powers make all the necessary contacts and experiences. As human beings, we seldom recognize the lesson until later on. From our limited perspective, we don't know what things mean and what to do. Thus, I think action and surrender is the best way to play the game of life.

Keywords: God, surrender
About the Author
Saleem Rana is a psychotherapist in Denver, Colorado. He has discovered something remarkable that can change anyone to be highly successful. Simply go here to download his gift for you: http://saleemrana.blogspot.com/
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