Lenten Meditation: Whose Control
We are born into this world helpless and completely reliant on others to care for us. We grow and learn self-reliance, establish a sense of self along the way. Most of us reach a point in this development often in our teenage years when we believe we can do anything, be anything, and even manipulate others. Reality often shapes and restrains these delusions, but our sense of self requires us to believe we are in control of something. Those with wisdom learn that we are in control of very little and settle on an understanding that we are only control of two single things: our attitude and will.
Such a path in the growth of our understanding can be depressing. But we are not alone and many awaken to an idea that collectively we can create a sense of greater control through consensus and community fighting the reality which keeps harping that we only control of our attitude and will – again a sense of helpless isolation. Nonetheless we gather in these groups supporting these formative elements to establish a sense of control and even destiny. All communities, enterprises, and countries are built on these elements, and they all serve some appointed body of recognized leadership often embodied into a single individual.
Just as the complexities of creation are not formed by accident, this social reality of ours is also designed into our being. Often, we form these social structures with lofty selfless goals, but the facts in our history show that as time progresses, those who have self-service in their heart seek to corrupt and usurp our institutions for their benefit. “Absolute power corrupts absolutely” say the sages. Again, we arrive at a very familiar end: a never-ending path of creation to decay.
But such an end is not our reality. There is a path which leads to a specific goal which does not decay and will never end: His kingdom. We know this to be true because He has said so. All of creation was formed in love, and in love there is no fear, oppression, or coercion. Love is selfless giving. Just as creation shows His hand at work in weaving the marvelous tapestry of life, so building His kingdom will engage His all-powerful hand to bring His kingdom into full fruit.
The Lord has given each of us complete freedom of choice in the use of our will and we have control of our attitude. We can exert that will to serve our desires or His. We know that when our desires align with His, He will help us. We also know that when our desires serve only us, there will be no help and our efforts will ultimately not bear the fruit which we desire. We each must choose in whose control we place our lives for one cannot serve two masters. The choice between ours or His. So, choose wisely, for in His service you shall find love, support, and perfect freedom!