Monday, August 1, 2011


While out with my grandsons, I noticed the sea of faces. Faces on ads, video and posters that expressed either

Overt sexuality – I'm desirable because I am beautiful and, unlike you, I get to be airbrushed

Over the top happiness caused by acquiring something – I'm happy because the world is cooperating…for now

A hip version of ennui – I'm bored, humor me or pity me, your choice

Sentimentality – I am frozen in a moment that most likely never really existed

In the breathing population, I meet all of these. We all seem to find at least one of these poses as appealing. These four worship the god of control. In other words, they seek to control or maintain control of their lives and the lives of others. If God is in the picture, she either has not delivered as commanded or is there for insurance in case of loss of control. These four poses are the poses of, ultimately, unhappy and unfulfilled people. People with a hole they cannot fill, yet aches. We are drawn to them. The ad people know this. We want to worship at their altar as well.

Oh, and I meet one more type of person.

The fifth person is one I also see and wish I would see more often. I wish I saw it more in myself.  It is the person who has suffered the loss of control and gave up and turned things over to God. Suffering at some point seems to be the key. This is not a passive person. Rather, it is a person who has come to realize that control is an illusion and that God is reaching out to those who have little to no control. This fifth person is content with his life under varied circumstances but seldom content with the world as it is, broken. This person understands the motto, "die to live," which was Jesus' motto. This is a liberated person. God is less a god of test-passing and parking-spaces-close-to-the-store and more a God who works in the medium of suffering.

I pray that you find yourself liberated this day. I pray you let God help you make something out of suffering's nothing. I pray that God helps you with the steps of liberation, starting with control.

Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it. Luke 17:33

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