Meditating on control (or: God is not pants) - Dwelling Spaces

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Meditating on control (or: God is not pants)

Sales of control pants over the last few years have rocketed in the UK both for men and women.  Is this a sign of our desire to control things that are not quite the way we want them to be?  Control pants (made famous by Bridget Jones) do the job of hiding the evidence of excess without you having to make the effort to change your diet or to exercise.  They give the quick fix that our culture always seems to be looking for.

So, this got me thinking about the nature of control.

Rowan Williams talks about us all chasing an illusion which is that we are in control of our lives.  He says that the act of baptism addresses this because it is the immersion of ourselves back into the chaos of the waters from which only God can bring order. God is the one enthroned over the flood (Ps 29:10), who hovers over the chaos (Gen 1:2) and brings it under control (see the rest of Gen 1).

I just re-read Romans 6.  Paul is pretty explicit that baptism is joining Jesus in His death so that sin has no control over us any longer.

Jesus at the moment of His death was the least in control He could possibly be.  Crucified, immobile, subject to the control of so many human desires imposed upon him; we should not be surprised that the light went out in the cosmos and that chaos and darkness reigned until the moment Jesus said: It is finished. Control is broken. Light returns. A new creation is made.

We become our most free - most in control perhaps? - when we give up all control to God (Jesus said whoever loses his life for my sake will find it - Matt 10:39).  It is an extraordinary thing that as we say 'not my will but yours be done', as we turn to Jesus and at the cross give him all our sin and lies, pretense and self-justification; we find forgiveness and truth, reality and newness of life. The expanse of his mercy knows no bounds; thinking about this kind of makes me want to kneel in humility and dance with praise at the same time!

So this is my prayer at the moment, for the illusion of control to be destroyed in my life and to become a new creation again and again trusting in God above all things.

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