Throughout history going back to the ancient Egyptians and Babylonians, people have tried to harness outside magical forces to better their lives. In our own days here in America the popularity of astrology, crystals, fortune telling and even palm reading remain great. But the truth is that success in life is not determined by some outside power but by what we choose and do ourselves. Even the grace of God which can empower us does not make up for our own effort but enables it. God has given us freedom and our own abilities and talents which he expects us to use. While it is true that we can be limited to some extent by things beyond our control like health or environment, still in large part we determine what happens in our lives. Think of St. Paul in prison. While there he wrote some of his greatest letters. When Walt Disney started out in Kansas City, he couldn't sell his cartoons and was forced to live in a mouse infested garage made available to him by a local church. One of those mice he named Mickey ultimately became famous. Like them, when we don't find life worthwhile, we have to make it that way. But as we strive to do that, we can be sure that God does enable us with His grace. President Eisenhower once said, "Faith gives you the courage to make the decisions you must and then the confidence to leave the results to God. Only by trust in oneself and trust in God can we find repose". I would add, only then will we find joyful and productive lives.
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