The Illusion of Control

I have finally accepted that life does not necessarily become easier with time or effort. Whatever it was that I was waiting for to make life easy isn’t coming because it doesn’t exist. There’s never going to be a time on this earth when challenging situations disappear and everything happens just the way I intend. Accepting this reality takes away the pressure of always looking for a miracle. Without a doubt, I recognize that faith, wisdom, and hard work are vital virtues for life, but there’s no cover-all cure for the vices. Life isn’t perfect. It won’t be, and it can’t be. Perfection is an idol unworthy of worship. Embracing this reality is liberating because it helps me focus on the good in front of me instead of the imaginary perfection that’s never going to arrive. I can enjoy life now and dream of a great future. Enjoy the good, deal with the bad, and be ready for more of both to come. This is what Solomon observed in Ecclesiastes 7:13-14, and it makes sense to me now more than ever.

I’ve experienced the gut-churning pain of stress that cries out to demand relief. Not only do I yearn for escape, I also imagine a time and place where anxious distress is a forgotten foe rather than an unwelcome guest. Such a longing is the soul’s groaning to be in heaven with God, the only place free of pain and the only home of eternal hospitality. Only there will I be welcomed with grace to rest from my battles, to heal from my wounds, and to enjoy true peace. Until then, I rejoice in God’s rich grace on this side of glory knowing that through Christ I can find contentment in any situation. God is my refuge, and in Him I will both hope and quietly wait for my proximate and ultimate deliverance.

Even though I am a runner, I do not like the act of running. It hurts. It’s exhausting. It’s weakening. As a Christian, I have observed that the discovery and confession of subtle sin is painful and weakening as well. Why do I run and what do I gain from it? The same thing I get from my walk with God: growth that leads to joy and strength. Just like there’s nothing like crossing a finish line with a great time, there’s nothing like reaching new milestones in my walk with God.

Life may not get easier, but you can get stronger.

Here are some new discoveries and milestones for me:

The illusion of control compelled me to believe that I could perfect certain areas of life. I never had total control, and I’ve learned that I don’t need it. I accept that all things are under a God’s control, just as they have been and should be. I forsake the illusion. I repent of idolatry. I relinquish my control. I accept the reality of humility and dependence. I believe God; He knows what he’s doing.

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