Self-sufficiency -- when we don't feel a need for anything besides ourselves -- is as dangerous as pride: in many ways it is the same, only mild instead of brash. It is, in my opinion, the core of the post-Christian world in Europe. People have enough and do not feel need, their weaknesses do not trouble them or cause them to fear for their safety or that they or their children will starve.
Ether 12:27 "I give unto men weaknesses that they might be humble ... "
Alma 32:14 "do ye not suppose that they are more blessed who truly humble themselves because of the word?"
Ether 12:27 "if men come unto me I will show unto them their weaknesses." "if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong."
Alma 32:15 "he that truly humbleth himself, and repenteth of his sins, and endureth to the end, the same shall be blessed."
In our age it is easy to live our lives in contentment, finding things sufficient, without needing to humble ourselves. I look at my own life. Even in the midst of the worst of tragedies I experienced, my family always had food, a house, schools, neighbors and physical safety. Now, I'm making trade-offs where I take time over money (I could probably double my income, if I were willing to work more and see my family less). I have more than enough. That is one thing that struck me about Paris: many of the people there were content with a great deal less than we feel we need, they had found contentment, they were self-sufficient.
I may have more than enough, but that gives me a renewed force in my life, a concern that if I am not careful I will drift away. As a result, I find myself earnestly seeking to turn again to God. I need God, not for some thing, not for some help, not for some intercession, but I need God to be my God. I need God for God and as God -- but so do we all. So do we all.
With this aside, I'll be back to my series on prayer in the next post.