Friday, April 16, 2010

LOST Souls Changed

Aright...I'll admit it...I am one of the millions who have been sucked into the TV show, "LOST." It actually all started on a mission trip where the missionaries my daughter and I were staying with had the first season on, series on DVD are hazardous to your sleep patterns!

During the latest episode last Tuesday night, we heard one of the main characters, Jack, a doctor, verbalize what we've all been able to see this season...he's changed. I guess the change started some time ago, but we've never heard it so clearly stated.

Jack, as a doctor, had been the Leader among the plane crash victims on the island for some time. He was sort of a shepherd/warrior for the survivors (huh, come to think of it, his name IS Jack SHEPHERD!). Jack has always been the "man of science" on the show, not really the man of faith. But over time, faith has begun to form in his soul...mainly because he has come to realize that his compulsivity of control has not delivered the results he's so desperately desired.

So, we've seen Jack give up control for the most part this season. We've seen him learn to rest and avoid his compulsive tendency to try to fix everything and everyone. And in Tuesday's episode he actually verbalizes to Hugo that he's learned how to let go of his need to control and fix situations. You can tell Jack is different...he seems so much more at peace.

Now, why all these words on a glorified Soap Opera? Well, in all honesty, a lot of us are LOST souls like Jack. There are MANY of us who live under the illusion that we are actually in control. We obsessively and compulsively try to fix things as well as seek to control our circumstances so as to achieve a pain-free life. Some people stay LOST their entire lives. They never learn the reality that, try as we might, we are NOT in control.

The Christ-follower must learn, sooner or later, that God is the only Person Who is in control in this Universe. He is the Creator and Sustainer of everything. He is the Warrior/SHEPHERD in the Universe and only He can be trusted with everything that concerns us.

Don't get me wrong...I'm being far from simplistic here...and I'm certainly not condoning fatalism. You see, there ARE folk out there, perhaps even reading this, who use God's Existence as an excuse for laziness and irresponsibility (hey, I can only deal with one issue at a time, OK?). The fact is, God is absolutely sovereign and we are completely responsible. It's called mystery...and those who are able to navigate through the tension of this mystery live the most fulfilled and satisfied and peaceful lives.

God is absolutely sovereign...He is the Orchestra Conductor of all the music of our lives...He is the Great Author of our Stories, but sometimes we don't understand where the Story is going. We ARE called to LIVE: we are NOT lifeless sticks floating down some current in a river with nothing to do; so, we must learn when to move and when to wait. We must learn when to rest and when to strive. It's not always easy...which is why an intimate walk with God through reading and applying the Scriptures is so vital. It's also why living in community with others who know both us and God well is so helpful...I mean, after all, You Don't Know What You Don't Know...but often times, others DO know what WE don't!

If you've not done so through the Psalms. Notice how many times we are called to "Wait" for the LORD! Let me help you out here a bit: Ps 25:3,5,21; Ps 27:14 (actually the Psalm I was reading this morning that got this whole BLOG thing started today!); Ps 31:24; Ps 37:7,9,34; Ps 38:15; Ps 52:9; Ps 62:5; Ps 130:5.

Go those portions of the won't take long...

Now, ask yourself...are you an "old Jack," obsessively and compulsively trying to control your own life, and the lives of others (i.e. your spouse, your children...) to maintain some semblance of order and comfort that is actually driving you (and others!) to near neuroses? Or, are you learning, by God's grace and through His Spirit, by prayer and faith, Scripture and Community, to give up control and starting, even if they are "baby steps," to "wait for the LORD?"

It's a pretty clear choice yourself: a fallen, finite human being with limited resources; OR, trust your Father in Heaven Who is infinite in wisdom, love, goodness, mercy and righteousness and possesses unlimited power and resources. What's it gonna be?

And of course, it's a daily battle...none of us succeed all the time...or even most of the time. That's why we need Christ so desperately.

The temptation is always there to re-take control. During the episode Tuesday night, Hugo responds to Jack and says, "How do you know that you giving up control isn't going to lead to all of us being killed?" Hmmmm.

As soon as you start to wrestle with resting and trusting, there will always be someone or something to start the obsessive/compulsive desire to control to spin up to speed again.

Resist it, firm in your faith...and Wait for the Lord!

By the way...were you able to tell that I MYSELF am a Recovering Control Freak??

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