Some several hours later, and I'm still thinking about what I've been reading.
It's freeing, if I'd allow it.
Going back to the quote from John Updike, I squinted at it some, because initially if I read it without really thinking about every word meaning something it's easy to think that we Christians should bury ourselves in prayer and not help the people around us.
But that's not the point I took away from it. (I don't know anything about the book that quote is taken from, so context would probably help me know what point he might have been fully trying to make without that, I'm just thinking out loud.)
It's easy to do the right things, for the wrong reasons.
For instance, it's easy to comfort someone, and forget that YOU are not their comforter.
It's easy to stretch yourself thin, telling yourself you're needed, or important, or you need to help. When it's not Gods plan for you to do that for everyone, at every time.
Sometimes, Gods plan for person struggling, is for them to struggle, so they'll finally look to Him.
Sometimes, Gods plan for a person hurting, is for them to hurt, so they'll finally look to Him.
When you get in Gods way, to help someone up from a pit they're struggling in, you only end up pulling them to your level - not Gods. *She says unknowledgably*
Keep in mind, I'm just thinking out loud here but... All that said doesn't even mean that you have to change what you're doing. You just need to change the reasons you're doing it, and when you do, the burden of what you're doing gets lighter. And actually, maybe you even get better at doing it because you stop pulling people towards you, and instead start coming beside them and pushing them towards God.
What a thought.
Or I could be just rambling for no good reason - that's sometimes what you get with prolonged thinking. :)