In her book, Lessons in Truth, Dr. H. Emilie Cady says, God is not a guy up in the sky who makes us do stuff. (OK, she says it a little better than that, but that's the essence I recall.)
There are no puppet strings hanging down from the clouds. If I am going to grow, who's going to do it? God gives me everything I need to do it, but I have to be willing. I can't blame misfortune, missed opportunity on somebody else; I can't pretend my prayers are not heard.
Dr. Cady says, "No parent can grow for their child" -- and all of a sudden I know what that means. All of a sudden, it isn't what other people are saying or doing.
One example Dr. Cady gives is so wonderful:
She talks about a wagon wheel. Imagine that in your mind's eye! She says, Imagine you're one of those spokes. It doesn't do you any good to think about the distance between you and the other spokes. It doesn't help you be a good spoke, and it doesn't help get you where you want to go. It doesn't help to think about distance and difference and "how are we going to do it?" All you have to do is focus on finding your center, that hub which is God. The nearer you get to the center, guess what? The smaller the distance between the spokes!
What matters is what I do about it, using what God has given me "in here" .....and that has everything to do with my thoughts, my words and my actions.
It is time to ask, what can I do as a child of God? Every day is a Gift!