Tuesday, March 1, 2016
The myth of control is a brutal.
Most of the New Testament took place in a time when social justice was a joke, political corruption was the norm, religious persecution was bloody and encouraged, people pooped in the streets, sex with almost anything was accepted if not encouraged, dying was how you treated most illnesses, warlords ruled the outskirts, and megalomaniacs sat in judgment of the masses. That said, everything was non GMO and organic, fertilizer was produced exclusively by animals, global warming happened when the Sun cam up, no health insurance premiums, and no one payed extra for designer water. So you know, pick your battles.
When Jesus told people to love and pray for those around them, including their enemies, when he told people to fix their perspectives on God and let Cesar have what was his, when Paul said to pray for those in leadership (Bush, Clinton, Bush 2, Obama, Trump or Hillary, etc), when we were called to rejoice in all things, give generously, treat the foreigner as a friend, love those who are actively oppressing us and our families, forgive everyone for everything, etc. believe me, it was harder for them than it is for you/me/us. Regardless of how bad or tragic you think we have it, things are still pretty good.
It is the fantasy of control that kills us. Having a vote and being able to talk with my friends makes me think I have some control over opinions or the final outcome, having an income and some form of free will makes me think I control my financial destiny, knowing better and being able to talk makes me think I have some control over the choices and beliefs of my students... I don't.
I just went through this thing with God where I let go of some small perspectives and empty attempts to get control of some things. I was all, "this and that and wouldn't this be great and isn't this fair", and God was all, "Okay... what's your point?". And I felt like a little kid and was all, "Actually God, I want what you want." And he was like, "Cool, that sounds good." you know? Which was great... and then I started doing taxes... (insert yelled profanity of your choice here)! And I was immediately frustrated by the stupidity of the whole thing, of not having much, of being told to buy stuff we don't need or want at prices we cant afford, and then finding out we owe a bunch more because we got married at the end of the year, which changed our bracket for the whole year, which means we need to give a bunch of money back for something we were forced to get, etc. (whispered profanity).
The bullet point is this: God tells us to control the only thing we can, ourselves. How we choose to think, how we treat others, what we choose to want, these are the things He guides us in. After that, we trust and move forward. Anything else is choosing to live in fantasy land, destination broken. Acting like I control things I don't only makes me angry, what good is that?
I'm grateful for taxes and broken bureaucracy. I'm grateful because I choose to be, because without them I'd be tempted to live in a fantasy. In the end, I'd rather be grateful for what dealing with them teaches me than rage about what they cost me. I'm grateful because the elections, terrorists, bureaucrats, taxes, and all other sorts of stupid, remind me to want the things God wants and to breathe, because any other approach to life is a joke, not even a funny joke at that.
Love you guys, have fun :-)