I’m lying in my bed listening to the rain pattering outside. It’s been a long day, reminding me of the old saying, “When it rains, it pours.” Life has been a bit hectic lately, but that’s nothing new really. It’s the feeling that I’m losing a handle on it that can be especially stressful.
I think control is a large part of what makes life feel safe, orderly, familiar. Control is a happy place we need, or even an addiction we pursue. And for the most part, many of us have the luxury of feeling secure.
But often times that security is an illusion. We aren’t really in control at all. We build air castles of security for the purpose of coping, when in reality we could be one step from disaster at any given moment. Have you ever stopped and tried to think of all the things that could go wrong? No? Good!—it’s a big waste of time. And frankly, you could spend all day at it. I’ve dabbled in it myself, but there are too many possible scenarios to anticipate them all anyway.
You might be guessing that I’ll continue by saying that God should be the source of our sense of security. But let me tell you a short story instead.
Several years ago while working in Rhode Island, I’d been staying in a motel for several weeks. One night, I was awakened by the piercing sound of the fire alarm. I left my room and joined a stream of bleary-eyed guests in the parking lot. After some time, and no fire, I headed to the main office to discover it was a malfunction with the fire alarm system.
Forty-five minutes later the fire trucks sitting outside had been replaced by police cruisers. It turned out that some young and rather rowdy ‘adults’ had been smoking in their room, and when the fire alarm inevitably went off, they attempted to remedy their mistake by ripping the fire alarm from the ceiling. Needless to say, their plan didn’t work out so well. We watched them leave in handcuffs, and shortly afterward we were able to return to bed.
So the moral of the story is don’t do drugs? That’s one good takeaway. But what I’m trying to get at is much more obvious: perhaps so obvious we miss it completely. Maybe even more obvious than “Don’t smoke under the smoke detector” or “Don’t rip the smoke detector out of the ceiling.”
Really, the story is just an example of human nature. Human nature, crudely defined, is to do stupid things when we know better. You know what else would be pretty unfortunate? Not trusting God. There, I came full circle. God should be our source of security.
We all know that. But I’m saying it again, because we forget and trust in ourselves, oh so quickly. When influenced by fallen human nature, people make really poor choices, like ripping fire alarms out of ceilings or ignoring God. One sounds extreme, but I put them both in the same sentence, because they’re both really poor choices. So why not let God handle it?
I know I’ve talked about trust before, and I’m sure I’ll talk about it again. Just don’t be jaded by hearing it once more. We forget, oh so easily.
Have a blessed, and trustful Sabbath.