New Poem by Me: The Futility of Self-Reliance

New Poem by Me: The Futility of Self-Reliance

Poem: The Futility of Self-Reliance

The Futility of Self-Reliance

We are like the Israelites
overburdened by their
Egyptian taskmasters
and eager to escape
for the Promised Land.

Following the “pillar by day”
and the “fire by night”
(with their enemies
closing in behind them)
they were led
smack dab
to a complete halt
at the intimidating
barrier of the Red Sea.

Weary, beleaguered,
and out of options
sometimes the sea of error
seems to be crashing
and waves
of fear and anxiety
threaten to engulf us.
But when we rely
solely on God,
the waters part,
and as the
dry ground appears,
we are delivered
from our false,
limited beliefs.

But be alert and watchful
for the journey is not over.
The Promised Land
is not yet reached
so do not bask
in self-congratulatory
for of oneself
nothing can really be done.
Humility toward something
larger than human
will always be needed.

After the Red Sea
it was not clear sailing either
for even though rescued
in that miraculous way
there was still doubt
and mental darkness.

The Israelites
for three days found no water.
When they did find it
it was undrinkable and bitter,
until Moses in prayer
was shown a tree of all things,
which, when cast into the water
made it suddenly delicious again
and God’s presence and power
was once more realized.

When sufficiently tested,
they finally recognized
that suffering could only
appear to have power
when God was denied,
and they at last
came to camp
at Elim with its
luscious bounty
of twelve wells of water
surrounded by
peace and plenty.

When we journey
from sense to Soul
God’s law will lead us too,
out of confusion of thought
and away from
panic and bondage.

Teach us, as well,
the childlike trust
which leads to
joyful emancipation,
while encouraging us
to drink deeply
of eternal assurances.
Enable us also
to utilize
all of our opportunities
as a proving ground
for divine Love’s
lavish willingness
to supply every need.
How else can we learn
the futility of self reliance?

While listening
to God’s voice we must
dutifully do all our work,
and be faithful and obedient–
not shrinking from,
but welcoming
every test,
for in due course
we too shall
pitch our own tents
in the élan
of spiritual substance
and be a channel
through which
the water
of Life itself
fulfills its purpose.

Yes, we will eventually
get to the Promised Land,
but not on our own
and not without God.

by Polly Castor


I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.


  1. Susan 8 years ago

    Your poem is written with such clarity of thought.
    I simply love it❣
    Reflecting Divine Love is beautiful, thank you.


  2. Liz 8 years ago

    A good one Polly. The Bible gives all those examples of God’s provision and supports why they could and we can trustingly abide in and trust God, Love, for all our needs and very existence. Our human need is to really understand our relationship with Our Father-Mother, by which we then learn our existence is all spiritual. Now to feel so confident in this that consciousness feels no longer separate from God but one with God.

  3. Louise Herot 8 years ago

    Thank you, Polly, for this timely reminder, beautifully stated.

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