If you have seen prime time television in the last decade you will have undoubtedly seen a commercial that boasts a new miracle drug that fixes your rheumatoid arthritis, your diabetes, or even your weight issues. At first you see this person who is unhappy, then they take a magic pill, and then everything is wonderful! Then dun.dun.duh......my favorite part, the announcer starts talking about the side effects! It literally takes over three fourths of the commercial to talk about the problems this new drug causes. Sure this pill can take care of your joint issues so fast you’ll be jogging in the morning, but what they don’t advertise is the chaffing you will have from the diaper you will have to wear because your body now has bladder control issues. Is it just me or are the list of side effects worse than the original issue? The hard part of if it all is that we really wish we had control. Control over our bodies that get sick at the worst opportune times, control over our thoughts when we can’t stop worrying, control over our tongue when it says those harsh words, or control over our hearts when they want what they can’t have. Honestly, it seems that it all boils down to control.
Think back to Adam and Eve. The very first people to walk the earth. The 2 people that actually, physically walked the earth with God. If they had a question, they could ask and get an immediate response. Think about it, you’re having a terrible day and all you have to do is take a walk and have a conversation, a real audible conversation with the creator of the universe! If you know the story you would know that Adam and Eve gave all that up, all for one little little apple. Or was it? Eve was out one day next to a tree. It was the one tree that God said they could not eat from, but on this day there was a beautiful talking snake that seemingly opened Eve’s eyes. Opened her eyes to all the possibilities. Genesis 3:5 (Satan the serpent speaking) “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.”
Satan never tempted Eve with just an apple. He used word play and tempted her with the one thing they didn’t have. The one thing we wish we all had, control. Satan says “you’ll be like God...” In other words you will know everything, you will no longer need God because you’ll be your own god. In one moment Eve’s curiosity was peaked, and like all of us she begins to think of all the good things this “apple” will bring. No matter what we have all looked back and thought “how could she have not seen what he was doing. How could she have led us all to our own graves.” You know you’ve thought it “if I was there this never would have happened...” Ha! Yeah right! If someone offered me a one time shot in the arm that would give me the godlike stature of Thor, the brilliance and whit of Tony Stark, and the less than 5 percent body fat of Brad Pitt...You better believe I’d be all over it! Eve was never tempted with the apple, she was tricked by the illusion of control. Ever since that one moment in time we have all experienced the side effects of control.
So where do we go from here? What is the 3 step process to break out of our control freak status? Sorry, don’t have any steps or plans that make you a better Christian, but maybe that’s what Jesus meant when he said, “whoever loses his life for me will gain it.” Maybe he meant that those people who lose control of their own lives will be given life, better yet maybe it means those who give God control of their life will actually find....real life. The true earth shattering, passionate life for which we have all been searching. Maybe “the last shall be first” was talking about those who give up their “godlike” status for the benefit of others. Maybe the whole idea of Christianity, all of it in it’s totality, is to give control back to the one who should have it in the first place. You see, we tried the pill in the beginning, so maybe this time we do the one thing that seems to be the hardest for us all, humble ourselves and give up control to the One who has complete control.