This is a post that has been bubbling up in me all day. It’s gone through many variations as the day went on. I’ll spare you the whole string of things that have gone through my head – it would take too long and it’s already midnight. But I’m just to excited to get this out of my head not to share it. Here’s my warning – it may not make a whole lot of sense to anyone else, so consider it intellectual playtime based on the day’s observations and seeing connections. Having said all that, here we go.
Have you ever observed people? I mean really observed people. Watched them intently? I did that today. It was a fascinating experience. It started when I noticed that I had typically been the one to break eye contact when a stranger and I caught each other making eye contact.
Then I started making sure that I wasn’t the one to break eye contact. I observed how long it would be until someone broke eye contact, and what they did right after breaking eye contact. It was really interesting.
Have you ever observed what people wear? How about how they walk? Or how their face looks as they walk?
I did all this and more today. What I observed was that our entire world is caught up in the idea of control. Now, of course, that’s a generalization, so there are whole to this. And of course, this is not a conscious thing most of the time either. Nor is it totally bad. It’s just a part of the human condition. We wear certain things to control our temperature. We also wear certain things to control body parts. We also wear certain things to try to influence what others think about us.
We have lights on our streets to control how much we can see. We have phones to control our communication wants and needs. We have police to control the peace and enforce the law. We have government to control what we can and cannot do. We have religions to control how we should live and what we should believe or not believe. We have rules and regulations to control other parts of our life. We have all sorts of things that control us and offer us an opportunity to control our surroundings.
Or at least that’s what we are lead to believe.
In reality, we control almost nothing. I think an argument could be made that we have some control over our reactions when we become conscious of our reactions, but not until then. We can control our emotions after we become conscious of our emotional state.
Yet, control is so important for humanity. Without control, we feel lost. We feel we are without purpose. We feel fear of the unknown – the greatest fear we have. And so we do things that give us a false sense of control – a sense of thinking we know something or we know what will happen.
But we do not have control. The good news is that we don’t have control. The good news is that it’s not up to us. This can be scary, but it can also be very freeing. It can allow us to live – truly live. We can live in fear of the unknown, or we can live as if every moment if a gift from God. Because God has given us this gift of life and salvation, we can then go out and live life – truly live. We can accompany others because of the gift from God.
Control is overrated. Control is tiring. Control is exhausting. Control is a lie. God gives us everything we need. It just may not be what we want, or what we think we want.