Finding power & control over life

Finding power & control over life

Finding power & control over life in 2022

It’s been a roller-coaster, hasn’t it?
We adapted. We zoomed.
Lockdown two, tier four, rule of six.
We all started to lose track of when and what.

We can feel a need to be in control of all that happens in our lives.
So when control seems impossible, we can feel overwhelmed.

Without control we can feel overwhelmed

I stopped using a calendar in 2020
It didn’t seem worth the bother with next to nothing to put in it. Then 2021 felt much the same.
Surely I wasn’t the only one? The pandemic threw us all off course and we were all at sea, together.

Power over our choices…

Now it is the start of a new year, and at last it looks like we’ve got more freedom ahead.
Your first step, if you want to grab hold of life in 2022, is to answer this next question:

Will you steer, or be swept along?

Let me answer honestly for myself:
I find it easy to be swept along.

Where I am, in the middle of life, most of us are inundated with responsibilities. Consequently it takes real effort to deliberately steer a path, instead of just swinging from one task to the next.

But whatever stage we’re at, some decisions are in our power.
For instance, you could choose to add something social to your 2022 calendar.
Happily there are local opportunities galore:

  • Local options include
    • Join a class at the community centre
    • Learn crochet with the new group of yarn-bombers
    • Tend the flower beds with Angmering in bloom team.

Taking control of the simpler things is a good start.
However you and I both know that to direct the grand sweeping story of our life is trickier. It’s in a different league than the decision to join a Pilates class.

Now I happen to be a fan of Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy. He knew the universe is a big place. Trying to steer through it is not easy, with unexpected twists. I’m entertained by his philosophical reaction to unanticipated diversions in life.

“… my methods of navigation have their advantage. I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”

– Douglas Adams

We try to navigate through life, but somehow the universe seems to have other plans for us. I think we all know that feeling. Like poor swimmers who get grabbed by an unseen rip current. Some visitors to a nearby beach know the feeling well:

Last summer 17 swimmers at Bournemouth were swept out to sea by a flash rip current. Happily, all were rescued, but it was pretty scary. Even a lifeguard was swept out. Reportedly the current ‘just developed suddenly.’ It was one of those things. It happened. Lives could have been changed forever.

Seems universe has other plans for us!

You never know when life is going to throw something unexpected at you. We just know that we can expect the unexpected…

Like in Bournemouth, sudden currents are going to spring up.
They might threaten to engulf us.
There was the pandemic. There will be more.

It is hard to feel we have control over our lives because big things happen.

We know life will be full of twists and turns.
These can take away our sense of control.
So then, what are our options?

Find meaning along the way

One option is to resign and be swept along by everything.
But I want to spend my life with more purpose.

Second option is only imaginary. Consider yourself charmed: nothing unexpected will ever happen to you.
As they say, good luck with that.

Leaving a third and better option.
You can try to find meaning and personal growth along the unplanned route.

Find meaning in events beyond control

To start with, what do you suspect the highest power (perhaps operating unseen) in your life is?
One of these will be near your answer:

  1. The universe is random. There is no grand scheme, power or purpose
  2. Something like destiny (or fate) has some power for some purpose of it’s own.
  3. God has some overall power over events that happen to us, for some good purpose.

I’m inclined to believe the last of those. God has overall power for some good purpose of his own. Do you believe that?
Or instead that something else has power?
Or, in contrast, that there is no oversight and purpose behind events?

Who or what has control when we don’t?

Earlier I noted how overwhelmed we can feel when control over life seems impossible.
It is an experience we share with practically all humans.

For example, feel the fear at sea described here, about 2000 years ago.

That evening, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s cross to the east side of the Sea of Galilee”. So they left the crowd, and started across the lake in a boat. Some other boats followed along, and Jesus settled down to sleep in the back of the boat.
Suddenly a storm struck the lake. Waves started splashing into the boat, and it was about to sink. Even though some of the disciples were fishermen, the storm was so fierce that they were afraid. Jesus was still asleep, but the disciples woke him asking “Teacher, don’t you care that we are about to drown?”
Jesus got up and commanded the wind and the waves to be quiet. Immediately the wind stopped, and the waves became calm.
Jesus asked his disciples, “Why were you afraid? Don’t you have any faith?” Now they were more afraid than
ever and said to each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

from Mark's gospel chapter 4. Written circa 55-70AD

This demonstration of power beyond the control of mere mortals, gives the fishermen a lot to consider. On the plus side, their endangered lives had been saved.

On the other hand, who was this in the boat with them? Who controls events like that?

Knowledge helps make good decisions

If you suspect that God has power over events for some good purpose,
then same as those fishermen centuries ago, you need more information.
“Who is this?”

You’ll want some insight, and understanding of what God is doing.
You’ll be asking, what does God wants me to know about my life?
This understanding will give you power to make deliberate choices, in tune with God’s purposes.

Take the next step

Find out why God allows your life to go the way it has. Listen to what his purpose is. Decide to deliberately navigate through life working with God rather than against him. That is how to take back power and control over life, to any degree.

This is researchable.
So be smart and start easy.

Start with a gospel, and read an eye-witness account of Jesus life.

You can read the bible for free online.
Or you can buy a gospel, or the whole New Testament, or the complete bible.

Read it with someone else if you can, to compare notes.
Reading with a Christian means you can hear how they view it.

Read with a helpful guide

Ask us about joining a guided read through John’s gospel. It’s free.
If you don’t enjoy it, there is no obligation to continue.
Watch how a guided read works…(coming soon)

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