I too often choose not to include God in parts of my day. The trouble often starts when tasks come my way, and I decide to face them alone. When the thought of saying a prayer crosses my mind, I often end up in stubborn self-talk. I still say or have said the following to myself: “I got myself into this situation, I can get myself out of it. My other peers would be smart enough to figure this out alone, so I should, too. if I have to ask for help, I must be weak, etc.”
Stubbornness can disguise itself as independence, something that humanity — especially young adults my age — strive for.
Pursuing independence at all costs is a treacherous path as it may cause us to push others away. It must be made clear that independence is not isolation. It is certainly good to be financially independent, have an independent voice that gets acknowledged and independently manage one’s own life. However, we must always remain dependent on God and learn not to view our dependence as a weakness.
While most children achieve the previously listed examples of independence, countless individuals show and require a great deal of dependence on those around them as adults. Those who are poor, handicapped, sick or aging require much more dependence than others. They are pushed towards a child-like humility that mirrors our relationship with God. Those who are struggling in these ways have the opportunity to show dependence on others for physical health, exemplifying how we ought to turn to God for spiritual help.
The alternative is to avoid God and his company. While this is a capacity of the gift of free will, God did not intend for us to be apart from him. God made Eve for Adam so the two would not have to live alone. God granted them stewardship over his creation and often spent time with the two of them himself. This ideal life that God gifted Adam and Eve was not one of isolation, but of community.
To have independence is seen as valuable, while dependence can seem burdensome by society. This view is one of many issues that feed into problems such as abortion, euthanasia and other crimes against the dignity of the human person. Both abortion and euthanasia imply that one can reach a point where their life is not worth living. Caring for someone who is heavily dependent on others can certainly be a burden, but that struggle does not mean that life is not worth caring for and nurturing. The ability to show love to our brothers and sisters who require help is a reflection of God’s love for humanity. We have not earned God’s love, but he gives it to us. When we need help, God will not hesitate to do what will help us the most.
As life progresses, I find there are times when I still require incredible amounts of help. Before I turned 18, I envisioned that by the time I hit that milestone, I would be a complete or nearly complete independent adult. I feel more dependent now than I did previously, as the responsibilities coming my way will only increase. My parents have helped tremendously in guiding me through college and admissions so far.
When I go off to college in the fall for the first time, I will be learning a lot without them. This does not mean that I’ve graduated from needing assistance. While independence may be a quality that we can practice and grow in, there will always be times when we require help from God and our brothers and sisters around us.
Gianni Squillace is a recent graduate of Ozark Catholic Academy in Tontitown and will attend the University of Dallas this fall. He attends St. Vincent de Paul Church in Rogers.
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