Monday, October 20, 2014

The Illusion of Control

Closely related to the idea of a "just world" is the need to feel that we have control over our lives and situations. Like the widespread beliefs and traditions of superstitions, we Family members had the ultimate power of the universe at our disposal - prayer.

Imagine, I had a God who was concerned about every aspect of my life, as if I were the only one on Earth. He was interested in my every petty worry or imagined need. What a nice, feel-good story! 

This all-powerful God was ever-waiting to listen to my every word. He was also keeping track of those words to judge me for them. ("Every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgement. For by thy words though shalt be justified, and by thy words, thou shalt be condemned. Matthew 12:36-37) Frightening. Clearly, he was focused on me.

He answered all my prayers, but I needed to always be praying ("Pray without ceasing." I Thessalonians 5:17). Fervent prayer was all important, too, as without wholehearted fervency, my prayers might not be heard. 

If I didn't get an answer, well, that was just God's "no" for his divine reasons that were beyond my feeble and limited understanding. After all, as our loving father, he wants what is best for us. If I were to get what I perceived as the answer to my prayer, then surely God answers prayer! Hallelujah!

So either way, God wins. And we win, too, because we could be content knowing that we had our own (albeit delusional) method of control - prayer.

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