I'm sure you've probably heard a million spiritual life metaphors, so this will be no different.
A few days ago, I heard Joan yelling at us from the bathroom. She had shut herself in and couldn't turn the knob well enough to come out. When I went to her aid and opened the door, no lights were on. She was in the pitch black. Surprisingly, she wasn't scared - just a little desperate.
She apparently recognized that she needed to use the restroom so she let herself in, felt around for her potty because the door shuts on its own, lifted the seat, and went. Then she pulled up her pants and tried to get out. All in the dark, all on her own. It wasn't until the end that she asked for help. She must have been quite confident that she could do this without one of us - I'm not sure why, she's never been able to do it before.
How often do we try to do it alone, even after everything in our history proves we can't. Why do we wait until we're in the dark or we've already made a "mess" (Joan only went #1, thankfully...). And most of the time we leave evidence that we tried to do it alone (ok, her pants weren't that bad). Sure, we can get pretty close and she might've eventually managed to make it out herself - but would that have been pleasurable?
Without asking for my help the whole way, she probably wasted a lot of time, missed out on the rewards (princess stickers), and ultimately left a mess for me to clean up. And after all of this, she wasn't even able to find her way out without me.
There are times when we need God to completely take over, when we are so desperate that no part of us is making it through the day. It is by grace alone that we breathe, let alone move. But when our wills have grown in virtue and we live in spiritual abundance, then we can work and move with just His subtle guidance. We can discern and make decisions much more easily. Still, we will never be alone. His Spirit remains and is there when we've once again made a mess. And when things are going well, we know it's only because of Him and can look forward to His company and ultimate reward.
She thanked me for turning on the lights and letting her out, and maybe next time she'll thank me for just being there in the first place.
And now, a video per Elie's request. But don't look for any relation between the post and the video... there isn't one...