The Illusion of Control

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow, we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and also do this or that.” But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; and all such boasting is evil. Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do, and does not do it, to him it is sin. James 4:13-17

We live in a confidence filled society! We can make most anything permanently okay! Really? How often does such confidence plunge us into deep trouble?

A water main breaks. It is strategically located to deprive us of all water. We have difficulty reporting the problem (no quick fix). Finally, the proper people look at the situation and diagnose the problem (good!). However, there are no parts on hand (bad!). No one knows where to look for the parts (terrible!). The water delivery system is so old the parts have to be made (awful!). Being in control of needed water was just an illusion. Do you have any idea of how many things must be washed? Hauled water lately?

An extensive ice storm comes. A strategically located pole snaps, falls, breaks the lines, and ruins the transformer as the domino effect pulls service from your house. Instantly, you are without electricity (bad!). Because of the demand produced by the storm, there are no poles available (worse!). In the priority system, situations that can be fixed easily are first, and situations that require a lot of work are last (much worse!). Sadly, no one even can guess when your power might be restored (you have got to be kidding!). How many times did you turn light switches on? With what results? Do you feel in control?

Your job ceases and your 401(k) must be your safety net. The local economy nosedives to the depths, and your job is not returning. You look for work, and there are ten applicants for every job opening. Stress evaporates health, but you cannot afford medical help. Feel in control?

The only certainty is a date with God. Depend on Him. Let Jesus’ coming be a true time of celebration, not merely another demonstration that we have no control.

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 06 December, 2009


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