Friday, July 28, 2006


You know, I think one of the hardest things for us to learn when it comes to our faith is a sense of dependence. In America, we have virtually all of our physical needs met, and it is really easy to do that on our own. By on our own, I mean without thinking about other people.

Almost universally, when I talk with people they love to help other people. But most people don't like asking for help. It requires humility. It is a confession of need. I think we are addicted to being self-sufficient. It's like it is part of what being an American is about.

As I walk through my second week without a car, I am starting to feel the addiction I had to it. I can't just get up and drive somewhere on my own. I can't take a drive out to cooper's rock in the middle of an afternoon just to chill. I can't run out of town to get away from things. I am here. And if I go somewhere, somebody is probably going with me.

Don't get me wrong, I appreciate that dependence. But there is part of me that really doesn't like it. I like being addicted to my car. Cars give us a degree of autonomy. But I don't think we are meant to be autonomous.

We kind of take it for granted that cars are a natural part of what we need to get by. 8% of the world's population owns a car. 85% of americans own one or more cars.

And it isn't just about the car. I have a big yard at my house. I am quickly realizing how overwhelming it is to try to care for this house and yard to the extent it needs it. It's really big, and I am just one little Indian. And largely, I don't fully understand a lot of this home and yardcare stuff. My dad took care of things growing up, and we had a number of neighbors who chipped in to help with big projects. I don't even know my neighbors. Slowly I am learning that if we are meant to look out for one another, I have to be willing to let people look out for me. I thought I had this down, and i do to a degree, but there are still vast areas of my life where i am learning how to trust, and how to swallow pride and be dependent on others.

People have been really great, understanding, and helpful with regard to my car situation. But there is a part of me that wrestles with being a "burden" on others. There is a part of me that wrestles with an automobile autonomy, and my addiction to being able to do it myself. I am really looking forward to the work God is doing with me, as He reminds me that I am a branch, He is the vine, and apart from Him, I can do nothing. He reminds me also of all of the "one another" verses that I can't fully obey, unless I am able to admit my need for other people.

I wonder how addicted we in the West are to our own autonomy? I wonder how isolated self-sufficiency makes us? Tribal people have an understanding of this kind of dependence, but do we?

1 comment:

Pam's Place said...

Amen Brother!
Don't you just love it when God puts us in the fire to refine us??
I'm there right with a different way....but he's burning away some of that selfishness and yes, autonomy.
My hubby and I went for a bike ride today. Felt really good to move those muscles.
Also saw Pirates of the Caribbean. Can you tell me who the guy was at the end? Was it Will's dad?? That confused us.