Saturday, July 08, 2006


A Matter of Control

Mind control. Politicians want it. Advertisers want it. Employers, leaders, everyone with an axe to grind wants to control everyone but themselves. How well they do depends on how skilled they are. Hollywood makes people glad to be brainwashed with the latest show that hooks people with anything but story. Families try to control their members so that the powerful ones get what they want.

The God of the Universe, who made us. What does he want? What kind of life would a person have if God controlled him completely? Is that even what God wants?

Mind control. I invited God to take control of my mind when I couldn't find my way out of a familiar trap. He did help. I sort of assumed that everything was out of my hands at that point. Standing by for directions, but life has to go on. Where's the balance between what I know how to do, the things I do badly, and the things God wants me to do? There are all kinds of messages floating around, and it's easy to pick them up. God wants this, God wants that. Lots of noise and foofaraw. I've tried to walk a quieter path.

It's still confusing. How much motivation am I supposed to have? How much motivation does a "normal person have?" Lately I've been motivated more by a desire for invisibility and quiet than anything else. Just stay out of the way. My natural response to always feeling as if the roof is going to fall in at any moment.

I let God into my mind. He could really do anything he wanted. Make me march, pull a Job on me and watch as everything falls apart in my life. He hasn't done that. He has been quite gentle, respecting the boundaries that I draw around myself.

How much do I trust him? The shell is pretty thin these days, but that thinness, despite being scary, seems to invite God to be even more gentle than he has been in the past. He waits for my invitation.

Maybe that's part of it. He waits for me to see sense. I have this image of him sitting in the middle of a green field, grass waving in a soft breeze, the scent of flowers and trees filling the air, clouds sailing past. He invites. Sits quietly. Watches as I suspiciously prowl the periphery, tempted but afraid. God whispers. What is so tempting in his voice? The granite reality? That he sits there immovable by circumstance or my opinion?

How can this image represent reality? The God I've heard talked about is a real roustabout, rough-handed, demanding. How come I get special handling? Pure need?

Interesting, isn't it, how chickens come home to roost. Here I am living out ideas I wrote about long ago, and they're coming to reality. Amazing. Can I trust myself to hear what God says and not twist it to my own purposes? Maybe I'm just recasting the reality to make it more palatable. But I asked God to show me the truth, and I believe he does. Patiently, slowly. Waiting for my eyes to be opened.

Everyone gets a different path. For Paul it was a flash, all at once. For me, a slow walk.

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