Monday, August 6, 2012

Control Freaks Part 4

Power, control, and freedom. That's a strange sort of trinity.

Power and the drive to control, as we most often view them, are temporary, partial, and circumstantial.

The knowledge that we use to evaluate our options is incomplete.

The freedom we seek by driving for more control is often an illusion.

I am not writing these words to deny that all efforts at control are wrong or evil. I am writing them to say that we often, too often, go overboard in our desire to have ultimate control. There are more hands on the steering wheel of life than our own, and that doesn't even account for the other vehicles on the road.

A better way to deal with control, it seems to me, is to examine our expectations. Are they realistic? Have we tested them in some partial way, to see if they're really what we want? Have we discussed them with close friends or family members?

If we get our expectations aligned with the real, our efforts at control, as partial, temporary, and conditional as it is, will likely not be quite so neurotic or to blow up in our faces.

We're told in the New Testament that if we pray in the Lord's name, he will grant us what we wish.

The important term here is that we're praying in the Lord's NAME.

At the time when the books of the New Testament were being written, it was understood that one's name was the equivalent of the thing or person being named. For instance, the Hebrew form of the name "Jesus" means "g-d saves." I think there can be little argument that this was precisely what Jesus came to Earth to do.

A side note - the name Jesus and the name Joshua are really the same name in Hebrew. Jesus (as g-d) saves sinful man; Joshua, ordained by g-d as the leader of the Israelites entering the Promised Land, saves his people from being decimated by the tribes and peoples already there.

If you're praying "in the name of Jesus," then your expectations and desires are aligned with his, if you understand this ancient reality. Your prayer is not only what you wish, but it's what he wishes.

The Holy Bible has plenty to say about where the ultimate power in the world resides, what true freedom is, and what real control is and who exerts it. I've touched on some of the issues around these related concepts, but this ancient collection of books of poetry, wisdom, prophecy, history, and biography, has far more to say than anything I could write. Check out the Proverbs. Read the Psalms. Ponder Jeremiah and Lamentations.

Control. Power. Freedom. They're all there, just waiting to be discovered.

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