Control and an Open Ended Future

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Several weeks ago, as I sat with the portion of Jesus’ story that we commemorate on Good Friday a new thought emerged…all the folk around Jesus—the church leaders, the disciples, Pontius pilate—controlled and manipulated people and situations to control their futures as much as possible. False trials and manipulating the crowds to get the outcomes they wanted. Abandoning friends and hiding in upper rooms to avoid the unknown of arrest. Apathy and feigned powerlessness to avoid the unknown outcome of acting on intuition. Meanwhile, in perhaps the truest demonstration of faith, Jesus walks straight into the unknown of death and leaves the outcome up to the God.

Around the same time I had backed my way into a conversation with a group of entrepreneurs. We were thinking about the need to be flexible…I found myself borrowing a bit from that attitude of Jesus and adapting a metaphor. As we move through life, it’s way more beneficial to cling to a compass than a map. Rarely are maps able to adequately represent what’s coming up. Once a map is made it’s terminus is set. It’s course is static. But the world is changing and so am I. It’s way more powerful to have a compass…cause who know’s whats coming? Only God.

Years ago I realized that it was not beneficial to attempt to micro-manage my future.

But it takes faith to actually live with the reality that I can’t control the outcomes, that I don’t know what’s coming or how things will resolve. It can be unnerving to live as though the only clear view comes from the God. There is often comfort in removing open ended futures and manipulating situations to remove un-forseen interruptions.

Still, Easter reminds us that God is good. There will be pain, hardship and struggle…but futures that are given over to the God of Creation & Life end well. I’m committing again that my future belongs to the God of resurrection.

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