Saturday, March 15, 2014


I've spent many, many years trying to control my life.  I've spent many years with an agenda, a plan of how I thought -even demanded- things should go.  And you know what?  It didn't pan out.  Sometimes, many times even, it only made things painfully, inextricably worse. 

And I noticed something... a gulf grew between me and God.  Sometimes I would notice that I am angry with Him.  Other times I would notice how little I felt of His love, which I scarcely felt most of the time as it was.  Was this a test?  Was He holding out on me?  Was He mad at me because I was mad at Him?

Here's what I've found.  His love is there, like a steady stream, but I am the one who puts his hands up, refusing to receive it, demanding everything be on my terms.  And in so doing, I blind myself to it, I close off my senses to it, which only sends me deeper into my sense of isolation and self-sufficiency... to try to do things on my own, on my terms, to control my life on my terms, to control the interaction with others on my terms, all the more.

Now some people who have been through hardship believe that self-sufficiency is a good thing.  They confuse self-responsibility with self-sufficiency, however, because it is one thing to take responsibility for the decisions you've made in your life, but it is quite another to believe that your decisions control the course of your life.  They play into it, certainly.  But the decision of another person can just as easily (sometimes more easily) alter the course of your life permanently, and there is nothing you can do about it.  Then add in disease, tragedy, accidents, your own mistakes, acts of God, etc.  Truly, the only way you could reasonably hold that theory together is to shack yourself up in a hut way up in the woods, away from everybody and hopefully away from most natural disasters. 

And there, in that self-sufficient bastion of control, you would die.  You would die because that control kills, and it removes from you the ability to do the one thing you were made to do:  receive love, particularly love from the Lord of all.  The tragedy of trying to control life, and relationships, on your own terms is that you destroy the "life" in them.  You destroy the possibility of truly receiving, and receiving with gratitude and peace.

It is like the "ring of power" in Tolkein's Lord of the Rings.  It has a certain draw to it, an allure.  You can put it on and even disappear for a while, hiding behind people-pleasing and pleasant smiles, numbing your real feelings out for the sake of keeping things the way you want them to be or the way you wished they would be.  But it only kills you and everything around you.  It only opens you to dark, dark things.  It offers you only a lie.  And you cut yourself off from the love of the One, the Source, who made you to receive His love.

No comments: