When You Think You Are in Control

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AJ thinks she is controlling the video showing on the iPad. Notice the cord for the keyboard is not only not plugged in, but the keyboard is incompatible with the iPad she is watching. Yet she is perfectly content living with her illusion and doesn’t even think about the unseen force that is actually controlling that video. Even if she did, she wouldn’t be able to comprehend it.

We often live with the same illusion. As we work away at our keyboards, we may think we are controlling our lives. After all, when we hit certain keys, things in our lives change. So we think the changes were caused by what we did.  And in some ways, they were.

We can hit the eating healthy key to have less illness to deal with.

We can hit the reliable honest worker key to keep our jobs.

We can hit the education key to earn higher incomes for a comfortable lifestyle.

We can hit the keys for keeping our minds sharp.

But the control is an illusion.

People with healthy diets can still end up with cancer and other life threatening diseases.

Reliable honest workers can still be fired or laid off.

Highly educated people can still be unemployed or employed below their education level.

Even sharp minds can be destroyed by disease, accidents, or old age.

We think the noises we make with our keyboards mean we have control.

But…

We don’t control our bodies. Breathing, digesting, sleeping will eventually happen regardless our efforts to stop it. We can’t stop our hearts from beating whenever we desire or make it start beating again when it stops.  We can’t control a baby growing within us or when that baby will be born. We can’t control getting older. We can’t stop it, change the speed at which we age, or control our signs of aging.

We don’t control our minds. We can’t make our brains work faster or smarter. Those with slow processing skills can’t suddenly start thinking as fast as a computer. Those with low IQ’s can’t decide to be a genius. We can’t control whether or not we will develop a mental disease. No one chooses to struggle with a mental illness, yet many people do.

We don’t control others. We can’t control who will love us and who will not. We can’t control who will hire us, or an employer’s decision to fire us. We can’t control rumors or whether friends will be trustworthy or not. We can’t control how strangers treat us in public places, or the crimes evil people commit.

We don’t control our life circumstances. We can’t control accidents. That’s why we call them accidents. And they happen to everyone regardless of how careful they may be. We can’t control the damage storms can bring into our lives. We can’t control how much our employer will pay us or what budget we have to live within.

What many of us don’t realize is that all our efforts are actually incompatible with the reality of what does control our lives, especially if we’re not plugged into the spiritual world. If we ever manage to think about the unseen forces, both good and evil, that surround us, we don’t understand them so we go back to using what we do understand. We continue plucking away at our powerless keyboards.

Yet there is power available. There is One who has complete control over all forces. There is One who desires to reveal the truth to our illusion. There is One who longs for us to plug into Him and is eager to teach us how to use our keyboards. In our natural state our keyboards are incompatible with Him, but because of what Jesus did, He can transform them so that they are God-compliant. We don’t have to understand all the spiritual forces acting on our lives; we just have to understand how to plug our power cord into Him so that His power can flow into our lives. Then when we hit those keys, something real will happen.