All in good fun here but I stumbled upon this post, Christian, Stop Telling Me God is in Control, by John Pavlovitz and I thought, oh but I must! Sounds like a dare to me, so here you go:
God is in control. God is in control. God is in control.
John is upset about the election. Also, he thinks hell might be a bit like an airport when your flight gets canceled, which I thought was kind of cute, although a bit of a First World Problem, ironically also having to do with feeling a lack of control. “Hell,” so to speak, is when you have no control.
This contradiction kind of fascinated me, “stop telling me God is in control,” and yet an airport, where man is actually in control, conjures up images of hell. Given that truth, I’d be tempted to reexamine this aversion to putting God in charge. I mean, who wants to spend eternity stuck in an airport?
Somewhat funny, but a bit bittersweet, the other day my husband mentioned a guy I used to work with, drank kale shakes for breakfast, lifted weights, always had some young, attractive girl friend. “Whatever happened to that guy?” my husband asked.
He died about ten years ago. “No way,” my husband said, “he did everything right!” Yep, he did, and yet God is in control. You can do everything right, and die anyway. And sometimes the bad people who don’t even try, they seem to live forever. What can I say, life doesn’t always seem fair, but God is in control.
John says he dislikes this idea of “God is in control” because, “It nullifies any concept of personal free will, by giving God ultimate veto power over us.”
Well yes, that shouldn’t be rocket science. Indeed, God has ultimate veto power over us. Sorry about that? I actually find that somewhat comforting. The alternative is being forever trapped in that airport waiting for mankind to realize it is somewhat immoral to treat people like bags of flour. They do that you know, airlines, they sometimes train you using bags of flour to represent your passengers. People as nothing more than sacks of feed, really.
John goes on to say, “It expects that God will clean up whatever horrible mess we make—and that our prayers alone will serve as the sole request form.”
Yes, precisely. Like it or not, that is kind of the reason why Jesus Christ came and died on the cross for us, to clean up our mess. In our individual lives, we tend to make real messes too. God cleans those up too, if we surrender to Him. Again, you have to place God in control. He is in control anyway, but often He’ll let us try it our way if we prefer….
No offense to John, but I often feel somewhat disconnected from those who I call First World Christians. Like, life can be really dark, addiction dark, suicide, abuse, poverty, dumpster diving for dinner dark, despair, death, afflictions, kids suffering. It’s actually somewhat painful when the worst thing my First World Christians can imagine is……a canceled flight and being stuck at an airport. Hell is….when I don’t get my latte the way I ordered it. Hell is when I don’t get the election results I wanted….
Hell for me is more like, when I feel like a girl trapped behind plastic wrap trying to be heard by those who should have the ears to hear… and yet they don’t. Why can’t you hear me?? Hell is shrieking impotently in cyberspace for decades and nobody will listen to you. Hell is when I have to search high and lo these days for someone willing to just stand in some biblical truths, simple truths really, like the idea that God is in control.
There is mystery and it’s a very a hard concept to put to words, but when you surrender all, you actually gain freedom. When you lose everything, you gain the whole world. Control is highly overrated, in our case it’s all about pride, and actually a bit dangerous, a set up really, because without fail life at some point life is going to teach you that you are not the One in control.
It’s kind of tragic but a bit comical too, John has a post about unfriending people on facebook, about being proud of that fact, and an interesting tweet about dung beetles. I have a feeling John would not like me very much, I’m one of the little people, a dung beetle for Christ, running about insisting that God is in control.
All in good humor John Pavlovitz, but you really should stop holding dung beetles in such contempt. Dung beetles serve a vital purpose in the world. Without them, life would be much worse than being stuck in an airport. We’d actually all be standing neck-deep in the world’s undigested poo.