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Tuesday, January 30, 2024

the illusion of control

“One thing you still lack.  Sell all that you have and give it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.  Then come, follow me.” (Luke 18:22)

Control is an illusion.  Which makes it absurd that we spend so much time and energy trying to achieve it and/or maintain it.  Oh sure, we might think at times when things are going along well that we are steering the car, but nothing could be further from the truth.  We’re merely wearing ourselves out trying to manage, manipulate, and control that which is unmanageable, impervious, and uncontrollable.

It’s like one of those rides at the amusement park where the car is on rails and the steering wheel is not even connected to anything.  Yet we keep turning the wheel, trying to convince ourselves that our futile efforts are somehow influencing our direction.  Why not just let go and enjoy the ride?  Why fight it?  Why not embrace it?  God is in control, and we are not.  We just need to trust him.

Following Jesus is about surrender, not control.  And surrender always involves an emptying.  Emptying myself of whatever it is that I may be full of at the moment.  Because when I am too full of me, there is no room for Him.  A cup that’s already full can receive no more; it first must be emptied.  If I am preoccupied with myself, it is impossible to then be occupied by God.  

That's probably why the rich young ruler walked away sad.  It’s also probably why it’s so hard for the rich to enter the kingdom of God; they have so much more to let go of.

Lord Jesus, thank you that you are in control, and I am not.  Help me to surrender to your will and your way, to your plans and your agendas, rather than clinging to my own.  Empty me of everything that is not you. 

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