WHAT DO WE CONTROL?
We continue in our journey during this Lenten season to come back to the Father in heaven. Our Lenten message series attempts to help us run back to the Father who loves us and wants to fill out hearts with joy, peace, love and hope. Will we let Him do this for us? Will we give up control of this special journey?
I have to admit, that the older I get the more I realize that I don’t have much control of anything. This is a very frustrating realization. Sometimes it seems the more I try to control something the more it slips away from me. The more I think and pray about it, my life is more about responding to the flow of life and work ultimately trying to be where God wants me to be. Most of the time there is a battle which I never win and in very rare occasions, I willingly simply trust in the Lord and know that He will lead me to where I am supposed to me.
Those moments are truly grace filled and unfortunately too rare for my liking. I am working at it but it truly is something that needs daily attention. How can we give up control and let God lead us?
(1) THE BIGGER PICTURE
One of the most important things to realize is the limits of our perspective. We so often get caught up in the simple reality in front of us and fail to see the bigger picture of things. This is where God is a huge help. He definitely sees the bigger picture and eagerly wants to support us, empower us and direct us through the ups and downs of life and get to our destination—which is so often for me anyway, not the place I was planning to go but the place I needed to be. This is a very humbling discovery that I too often forget.
God has our best interests at heart and knows us more than we know ourselves. The Father in heaven wants us to be happy, filled with joy and be a conduit of light and hope in this world. Yet the pathway of being an instrument of the Gospel is never easy. This is why when we are in control we seek the least resistant path. We don’t want to work harder than we need to. This also becomes our fear—if we give up control to God, He will demand great things from us and the path of the Good News takes courage, patience and trust. Yet it is the most fulfilling adventure and life of all. Let God take control.
(2) WHAT IS REAL HAPPINESS?
So often I get caught up in finding out the newest and latest tech gadget that can make my life easier or my work faster. There is no question that some of the gadgets and programs I use truly help make things easier but after a while the joy and excitement fades and I am searching for something more and different once again. I think this happens to us way too often and we forget what true happiness is really about.
This Lenten message series is reminding us that this is the right time for us to change, turn back and make God first in our lives. It is a time to realize that only God can make us truly happy. He does this by loving, forgiving, supporting and encouraging us in our daily lives. God does truly provide us with everything we need and allows us to have the needed perspective to keep things in order. This becomes another key component of letting God take control—we need to see the way He does.
(3) IMITATING CHRIST
The closer we get to the Father in heaven during this Lenten journey the more we realize that we need to be Jesus in this world. The conversion and change that is being called for is to act, serve, sacrifice and love like Jesus.
As we heard on Ash Wednesday, we are called to be “ambassadors for Christ”. Our conversion and change during this powerful season starts in our hearts but then progresses into our actions towards others. The Good News cannot be contained within our own lives for our benefit, but truly to allow God to have control compels us to be Jesus in this world and live for others. In particular, we need to be people who reach out and serve those who are on the fringes, the forgotten, the lonely and afraid. There is no question that the present pandemic has heightened our need to support one another as so many people are suffering in so many different ways.
(4) DO NOT BE AFRAID
As we move forward through this Lenten season and experience or seek to experience conversion and transformation, we need not be afraid. Change and renewal is never an easy road but we do have to trust the covenant of love that God has with us. He will never lead us astray but will alway bring us peace, strength and joy that we cannot help but to share.
What helps us along the journey is to realize that we are in this together. We need each other. The pandemic offers us great challenges in staying connected but also the opportunity to support one another differently and to be more aware of those who are in need. The journey to Easter is one that is done together leaning on one another when necessary and celebrating together. May we never be afraid and trust that the Father will always lead us to where we are supposed to be. “Let go and let God” does get easier when we live that out each day!!