The older I get the more and more I realize there are many things in life that are beyond my control. Yet, I find myself trying on a regular basis to control many of them. What I have also realized is this is a phenomenon that is shared by many of my fellow human beings.
Take time for example. We have zero control of time – nada. I have yet to find an individual who has mastered the ability of slowing down, speeding up, rewinding or pausing time. Though there have been movies and books that grant characters these special abilities the last time I checked all those movies fell under the classification of fiction and fantasy. I have yet to see one that begins with the words, “based on a true story.” There are those who would like us to believe they are living a true story in which they have slowed or stopped time through the wonders of cosmetic surgery. In reality all they have done is effectively masked the certainty we all face that time is no respecter of persons.
Though all have at least a subconscious knowledge of the vainness of seeking to control time we still expend amazing amounts of energy on this effort in futility. Year after year we chase after the proverbial fountain of youth, seeking immortality. Why? In large part because we want to live forever, we don’t want to see time run out on us. We want to cheat death, beat death, laugh in the face of the Grim Reaper as he stands before us totally impotent.
Imagine for just a moment the implications if someone did actually come up with a marketable way for people to control time? What a precious gift for the family member who never got to say goodbye or reconcile with a loved one who passed away unexpectedly. And how beneficial would it be for someone in danger to simply pause time in order to steer clear of the danger about to ensue. This would be a great military weapon especially when our special forces find themselves hot on the trail of known terrorists who seemingly continue to slip through their grasp. But not all the implications are good ones. For every good result we can cite there are a handful of bad ones as well. This epic struggle is what good movie plots are made of, keeping powerful tools meant for good out of the hands of evil tyrants with an insatiable lust for power, destruction and control.
Regardless of what we may see played out at the local movie theater and on our home entertainment centers there always has and always will be certain things outside the realm of our ability to control and time is just one of them. Like it or not there are aspects of this life we live in which we are the drowning victim bobbing in the middle of the ocean in need of a rescuer to throw us a line. It doesn’t matter how hard we try or how much effort we expend because all that will ultimately result from our efforts is a tired victim bobbing in the middle of the ocean hoping and praying ever more frantically for any sign of a rescuer on the horizon. It wouldn’t matter if you were an endurance swimmer, a lifeguard, or the person with the longest running lucky streak in history, we find ourselves on equal footing when we’re alone hundreds of miles from a shoreline. A hope for timely help is the only thing we have.
As I’ve aged I would like to think I have become wiser, and as I ponder these things beyond my control I realize that instead of trying to shape reality to how I think it should be I should be living within reality as it is. If I’m bobbing in the middle of the ocean it doesn’t matter how much I believe I am living a different reality, unless a rescuer shows up I am sunk. I can think I’m on a tropical beach basking in the noonday sun all I want but in the end all I end up with is an empty fantasy. The good news is there is a rescuer on the horizon who throws a lifeline to all who stop trying to control and shape their own reality and send out an SOS asking for His help. The question is will we stop thrashing around and trying to save ourselves or will be accept reality and cry out for His help?