Faith and values wanting all the help we need features aikenstandard.com electricity quiz 4th grade

Still holding the hammer in his hand, the man shook his head and walked over to where my friend was sitting. He said, “I wish she would have let me know what she wanted this hammer for. I think I could have helped her. You see, I am a locksmith.”

However, we need all the help we can get. At least I know that I do. Quite frankly, the contradictions and challenges of life, the ambiguities and dilemmas of human relationships, and the efforts to make sense of living in this world tax my resources and are more than I can cope with by myself. Moreover, the predatory power of evil, my own defects of will, and my sin can distort and overwhelm me unless I have help – a lot of help – from God and from my family and friends.

I mean, even the bravest among us needs seatbelts and the strongest among us does not make it alone, no matter what they may boast. The most gifted and powerful persons among us also stand on the edge of the abyss and cry out in the darkness. The most religious saints among us need to pray and keep on praying.

Some years ago a star high school football player and honor student, the epitome of self-reliance and rugged individualism, lost one of his legs because of bone cancer. It was understandably a devastating trauma, but the young man was determined to be brave and strong by himself. He stiff-armed all efforts made by family and friends to help him. But that did not deter his coach, who stopped by to see him every afternoon. One day the young man said, “Coach, you have better things to do than waste your time with me. Besides, I can get along by myself. I don’t need you or anyone else to help me.”

The coach assumed his best locker-room manner: “In football,” he said, “receiving is as important as passing. And asking for help is as virtuous as giving it. Needing help on the football field is what teamwork is all about, and it is nothing to be ashamed of. Needing help in life isn’t either. Don’t shut me and others out, Brian, and don’t shut God out. We need each other, and all of us need God.” He then laid his hand on the boy’s shoulders; and Brian, fighting back tears, looked up at his coach and nodded his head.

But we must want all the help we need if we are to get it. Like Brian, we must reach that point when we want the help that can be ours when we choose to want it, when we ask for it, and are willing to receive it. The love and help offered to us by friends or family mean nothing until we let others love us. God’s love and grace are only nice sounding words until we want them, want them enough to believe them and are ready to receive them. The power of prayer and the enabling presence of the Holy Spirit are mere concepts until we claim them.

A brilliant beautiful young woman from one of the wealthiest families of Italy turned her back on the luxuries and comfortable lifestyle of the rich and famous and knocked one day on the door of a convent in northern Italy. She had been educated in the best schools of Europe, spoke seven languages, had traveled throughout the world, had her choice of handsome suitors, and could command anything she wanted.

So why was she knocking on the door of the convent, wanting to enter? That is what the head of that convent asked her. The young woman replied, “Because I have discovered that seven languages are not enough. I have been missing the most important thing in life; and now I want to want it, and I need your help in wanting it and in finding God.”

That young woman soon discovered how God promises us all the help we need, including help in wanting it. The yearning and awakened desire for God’s help and love are not our own doing. They are themselves the gift of God, signs of God’s presence with us.

A modern writer discovered it, and he said: “It suddenly dawned on me that I had been mistaken all along in my conclusions about reality. Instead of being an emptiness that must be filled from without by strenuous effort, I was, in fact, already a fullness by the creative act of God. There had been worth in me from the very beginning – not by virtue of what I had made of myself, but by virtue of what God had made of me in calling me out of nothingness into being. The words of Paul suddenly took on new significance, ‘By the grace of God, I am what I am.’”

We need all the help we can get. But we must want it if we are to get it. As we want it and receive it, we discover that God also is in our wanting, that God placed the hunger and thirst within us. And we can say, “Thanks be to God for all of His caring love and grace in our lives.”