|Psalms 46:10- “Stop striving and know that I am God.”|
At the beginning of creation, God created man and woman: “God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” (Genesis 1:28, NIV)
Fred Craddock told of starting his ministry in Appalachia where the poorest of America lived. He marveled at a single paradox. People who did not have enough to eat or able to put shoes on their children all had big TV dishes behind their shacks. He wondered why and he discovered a truth.
He discovered it was to prove I can do what I want to do. It was an expression of control.
In Matthew 14, Peter gets out of the boat to walk toward Jesus on the face of the water. Why does he take that risk? I think it has a lot to do with Peter’s personality. He does it…just because he can.
But the problem is he can’t. The storm surge slaps his feet with waves and slaps his face with brine. He takes his eyes off Jesus and reality grips him, and he starts to sink. At that moment, he has but one option. He cries to Jesus, “Save me!”
There is a central truth to that story. Some things in life we can control, but there are many we cannot.
We can control our temper, mind our appetite, and obey the laws. But there is much in the world we don’t control.
In March 2020, the COVID-19 virus raised its head. I wrote this 9 weeks later and it still ravages the world, despite great technology. As one doctor put it, “there is just so much we don’t know.”
That’s “beyond our control.”
Does it bother you not to be in control? If you have ridden shotgun with a teenage driver learning to drive, you feel both the helplessness and the sheer terror of not having hands on the steering wheel or the foot on the brake.
But then, we fly. We get in a metal container filled with high explosive fuel hurtling through space at 500 mph at 38,000 feet. Why does that lack of control not terrify you? It’s simple. There is a pilot in the front of the plane that knows how to fly. We give control to him, sit back, and put earphones on and listen to music.
When you cannot control life, you must surrender control to someone who can “fly the plane.” As Peter did, we reach out and say, “Lord, save us.” The answer to the out-of-control moment is basic–do what you can to control what you can, but give God what you cannot control.
-Robert G. Taylor-