In Sunday School today we talked about stumbling blocks. Any efforts at self-improvement, our book says, are ego-driven and won’t actually lead to change. We can’t even see the change we need, the author says,until we are at the end of our own resources and allow God to take control.
I’m not sure I believe that. The guy has no evidence, after all. I think perhaps we can, through diligent efforts supported by our faith and fellowship, improve ourselves. We can’t achieve righteousness on our own, but we are promised that righteousness can be the product of faith and diligence. We are called upon to help one another to do what’s right and to lead holy and joyful lives.
Nowhere are we told to hang around and wait to hit bottom and let God fish us out.
That may not be what the author had in mind, of course. Indeed, our class reached the conclusion that we are to work to gain the faith and wisdom needed to cope when we do reach the end of our resources and leave our lives in the hands of God.
Is that relevant to self improvement? I’m pretty big on that, as it happens. It may be more relevant to addictions or beign kidnapped or something. But maybe I’m wrong about that.
Before church I did a ballet class video and knitting.
After church I went to a games party and played Wits & Wagers and Forbidden Island. It was fun. I was actually doubled booked — the party and a play. I had to go with the party because it was one of those situations in which a whole bunch of people negotiated for 15 minutes to come up with a time we could all meet.
This is, I think, evidence that I am indeed strengthening my social connections, one of my goals for the year. I’m physically stronger, too. I’m strengthening my skills as I intended.
And perhaps I’m at a point with some of my other goals at which I need to recognize that I’ve gone as far as I can with my own resources and I must trust God. Not in the way I usually do, which is to trust in God but row toward shore. But perhaps in the way the author of our Sunday School class book has in mind.