CONTROL

I've realized one of life's greatest evils and deceptions is the illusion of control. When we feel we don't have control we get anxious, fearful, unnerved, and unglued. Problem is: we don't actually have control. And, to try to exert something we don't have is problematic...

Trying to control others is the very definition of evil to me. The greatest villain to me is Shakespeare's Iago in the play, "Othello." Iago whispers in people's ears, and causes division, discord, and chaos through subtlety. That's what the devil does. Whispers in our ear to tempt us to do wrong. And, when we give in, and do it... he whispers in our ear how terrible of a person we are. It's cyclical.

Even in my faith-walk, I've realized I've tried to control my interactions with God. If I want God to know I appreciate something---I try to lay it on thick with my prayers. Doesn't He already know what I really feel in my heart? Am I "helping God" somehow by going on and on? Will He believe me if I say feel something and I don't? No. I feel guilty when I don't feel like following a formulaic checklist of what I'm supposed to do (pray, read, worship, etc)... instead of allowing a natural flow of what is needed for that day and time. Some days, I need to pray more. Some days, I need more music. Some days, I need stillness and meditation...

Here's the thing: following Christ is hard; but we make it harder. What can be prevalent in church culture like: praying long articulate prayers, pretending you have no problems, and... forcing yourself to say Jesus, wear a Jesus shirt, or rock a fish on your car is sometimes a lack of faith; not a display of it (Key word: sometimes). We are afraid that if we don't harp on all things God all the time with direct commentary---we are falling short. As if God can't redeem anything. As if your life itself isn't your true witness in front of people. As if your words alone are bringing people to God...

No, you don't have to say Jesus to help somebody with a problem, feed somebody that's hungry, or be kind to someone who needs it more than you know. You don't have to say, "Jesus," because your life will say it for you. People will see Him by the way you live. And, then they will come to you and ask, "Why are you like that?" "You seem kinda weird; wzup with you?" "You like a preacher or something?" Then, that's your open door to be direct. With your words. Don't force it. You can't control it. Let it happen organically.

People need to see you for real. In real life. Not your, "church persona." Not your, "Christian altar ego." Not "artificial perfection." No compartmentalization. Be who you are---everywhere. If you suck outside church; stop fronting at a worship service. Those people you're worshiping with... they suck too. Everybody's just holding it in like "spiritual spanx." God's working on us all---regardless of where we ping on a location app. So you might as well be authentic...

While letting go and allowing Him to be God in your life is scary, trying to control everything yourself will ultimately end up scarier...