Saturday, November 3, 2012
Control.... or the illusion of control
As we work to control the content of "my life," we also further isolate us from the very groups that contribute to our sense of identity and contribute to the sense of belonging that is so important to our security and our comfort zones. It is no accident that people are lonely while having a seemingly endless supply of ways to connect and communicate (above, beyond, or instead of the face to face dialog that is more rarely chosen because it remains less predictable).
After first being enamored of these manifold choices, I am becoming more and more wary of them and what they are doing to us -- and, more importantly, to our children! While not faulting the technology itself, the way we use it to exercise seeming control over our lives can also be tacit evidence of the curvatus in se character of original sin. It is also descriptive of how sin works to reject which we desire most of all -- community and fellowship.
Maybe you have seen the commercial for whatever online dating service where the guy meets the gal for the first "get to know you" date and spends the whole time texting and talking on his phone. Perhaps that should be the symbol of what we have done to our technology and how we have used this technology in less than salutary ways. The guy cannot let go of any and every diversion because of the fear that doing so might cede control to someone else. So he goes on a date because he feels lonely only to end up giving the girl a distant second to that dad-blamed cell phone and its choices (text, photo, email, internet, ect.).
It is the illusion of control, the delightful lie that we are in charge or in control, that tempts us most of all. Even if we cannot actually be in control, we so delight in the illusion and enjoy the manipulation of every resource available to us -- until the constant personalization of things and the pursuit of choices ends up overwhelming us and leaving us dry and empty.
One of the most helpful thing God does is to reveal how our constant pursuit of control, our ever present urge to define and detail all the choices before us. is the most cruel bondage of all. Strip away the layers of technology and our incessant need to personalize everything in our lives and you find a sinner captive to his or her fears and impotent to do anything but acquiesce. It is to this that Christ was incarnate and for this that He has come -- to set the captive free. May God help us confront this addiction to choice and release it finally and fully from its cruel taskmaster or we will never find any sense of contentment, peace, or joy!