A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life

A Weblog Dedicated to the Discussion of the Christian Faith and 21st Century Life
I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe, –that unless I believed, I should not understand.-- St. Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109)

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Living Out of Control

We began a study at church tonight called Weekly Scripture. We will meet each week to talk about the sermon text for the approaching Sunday. I am preaching this week on the parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32).

In the course of the discussion we began to talk about forgiveness and how it is easier to forgive than to be forgiven, because to be forgiven means we must let go of our fate and put our destiny in the hands of another. How true it is that we human beings like being in control of our lives. "I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul;" so goes the poem that so many learn in school and recite as if in fact it were true. Falsehoods sound so believable when they are stated poetically.

But to live in forgiveness is to live life out of control; to live in forgiveness means that I must be willing to put my future, my fate in the hands of another. That is just what we must do as we approach the throne of God. Without the willingness to be forgiven and to live life on the terms of another, we cannot find the grace we so desperately need.

A week ago last Saturday I was returning home from North Carolina. As I was traveling on the rainy freeway in southern Ohio, I began to hydroplane spinning my jeep around several times and sliding off the road. By the grace of God I was not injured though I totaled my vehicle; but in those few eternal-like seconds that my car was doing what I could not stop, I not only felt out of control, I was out of control; my fate was truly in the hands of another.

In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus was willing to place his destiny in the hands of his Heavenly Father, "not my will but yours be done;" and in so doing, God brought him through the valley of the shadow of death and out the other side to victory. And as difficult as it can be, we must learn to live our lives out of control as we live life as those forgiven, as those who understand that we get into trouble, not when we turn the helm over to another, but when we foolishly attempt to master our fate and captain our souls.

In placing our destiny in the hands of the God who will bring history to its desired end, he will see us through to our chief end as we love God and enjoy God forever.


Jim Martin said...

This is a good post and so true. Seems like we try many clever way to somehow stay in charge and at least manage things. Good reminder.

L.L. Barkat said...

Oh, that spinning experience sounds frightful... but funny how these things set us to thinking so profoundly...

thanks for the thoughts on forgiveness.

Anonymous said...


Yes. We need more that sense of blessed surrender to the control of Another.

Helpful words. This is such a great need. The need to accept God's word of forgiveness.

Unknown said...

Well written post about forgiveness. Also like how you likened your out of control expereince to Jesus garden of Gethsemane prayer.

Would that we would let go and accept the forgiveness that is there for us.