The Idol of Control

I’m sitting in Starbucks right now as I write this. It’s a noisy Starbucks with all kinds of loud people coming and going and really bad elevator music playing in the background. I sure wish I could control all the noise around me.

But this is not just any Starbucks. This Starbucks is inside Cook’s Children’s Hospital in Ft. Worth. We are here because Clare, our 4 yr. old daughter, is getting an MRI. Clare broke her leg earlier this year and the follow-up x-ray showed a spot on her right femur so our doctor ordered an MRI. The spot on her femur is not related to the break, and the radiologist that looked at the original x-ray was fairly certain that what he saw was innocuous, but when it’s your four year old daughter, “fairly certain” isn’t good enough. When discussing the spot, terms like cancer and tumor were used. I sure wish I could control all the joys and pains my daughter will go through.

We woke up at 4:57 this morning, 27 minutes later than we were suppose to because our alarm was set for 4:30. I sure wish I could control my stupid alarm clock.

We had to be here at the hospital at 6:30, which meant we would leave at 5:30 from Denton heading south to Ft. Worth. After I scrambled out of bed, I turned on the news to check the traffic to Ft. Worth. Not 5 seconds after the news came on, there was a flashing update about a semi truck overturned on I-35, southbound. I sure wish I could control the traffic.

We wrapped our sleepy daughter in a hello Kitty blanket and carried her out to the car. Despite the blanket, she was still shivering as we left. I sure wish I could control the weather.

We pulled up to the hospital and then proceeded to enter the employee-only parking lot. After putting the car in reverse and backing up into on coming traffic we finally found the right parking lot. I sure wish I could control how I drive.

We finally got checked in and paid part of the bill for the MRI. Wow, I sure with I could control health insurance costs.

We tend to think that we are in control of the world around us. This is and always will be nothing more than an illusion. And this illusion, when not tempered by faith, slips all too easily into idolatry.

Now most of us would probably never acknowledge that we worship control but we absolutely do. Retirement savings, insurance plans, posturing in front of others with how we dress or how we speak. All designed to control the unknown.

I can think of no better antithesis to faith than grasping for control. Faith, after all, is Trust. In the midst of MRI’s, we trust. No matter the outcome. In the midst of faulty alarm clocks, inevitable traffic, unpredictable weather, bad drivers (especially if that is us), and constant money worries, we are called to trust.

May you be filled this week, despite all the unknowns, with faith in the One who alone is worthy of our trust.

Other Posts You Might Like:

Faith and Doubt - Ross Thomson

No Common Man - Andres Badillo

“Our Story” - Ross Thomson

Bicycle Ministry - Don Compton

One of Us - Laurie Templeton



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