We have these controllers in our house all over the place. You might refer to them as “The Remote”, to us they are lovingly referred to as, “The Flippy Dippy”, as in, “Hey honey, where’s the flippy dippy, I need to watch the news?” We have a flippy dippy, for the tv’s, the DVD player, the Blue Ray player, I have one for my laptop, the garage door and even for the auto start for my truck. Who’d a thunk it? Our lives are run and controlled by these flippy dippies. And heaven help you if you lose the flippy dippy, as Sheldon Cooper might say, “You are now up the proverbial slow-moving aquifer in a buoyant craft and no shaped wooden means of propulsion.” You will also notice in turn, the flippy dippy is controlled by these batteries that come in all shapes and sizes. I am totally bewildered, that the makers who make things that make our lives easier can’t all get together and make things more streamlined, more standardized. You know, like only one kind of battery. (I actually know it isn’t possible but this is my blog and my dream. These are my monkeys get your own circus.) As a result of all the flippy dippies and all the different requirements, I have to keep a stash of all kinds of batteries. 9 volt square keep the smoke detectors working, AA little skinny ones keep most of the flippy dippies working, AAA if I want to play games with my imaginary friends, as my wife calls them. And then, I even own a thing or two that takes two flat discs of a battery, and I don’t even know what to call them.
As I stare at the battery that controls the flippy dippy, I see there is a positive end and a negative end. I know, electrically speaking, it takes both ends to make it work, but it got me to thinking TWO thoughts.
FIRST, we all have controllers in our lives and we have to pick and choose which one we will “use”. The more controllers we have the crazier life is, the fewer controllers we have the better life is. Did you know that you can go to the store and get a universal remote and it can control a lot of stuff in your house? It really would be great if we had only ONE controller. (are you listening to me you People Who Make Things?) Stop for a second and think it through; if you only had one controller in your life would it not be much simpler? Thinking beyond your material possessions, how many potential controllers do you have in your life? I would list things like church, marriage, jobs, culture, circumstances, other people … You get it right?
Growing up I was so afraid of people that my desire to hide from them was a controller. Then as I began to grow out of my shell, my desire to be liked began to control me.
Sin became a controller
Religion become a controller
Then shame became a controller
Success became a controller
The need for Attention can be a controller
All of these things can direct your path. They can keep you from being able to do anything, or accomplishing anything. Sooner or later you need to strip it down to one universal controller. Just one. (just go with the metaphor) You need to decide what you will let be the real controller in your life. While I struggle against my own flesh, I have decided that the ONE controller in my life will be God and my desire to hear him one day say, “Well done my good and faithful servant.” I really don’t care much what other people think. Not arrogantly, just matter of fact. God is my Father and my biggest fan.
So, how many controllers do you have? Think about that for a while, let it simmer and process it out in your own life. With all due respect, who or what is your controller? (if you need a hint, look at your checkbook or spending register, that’s a good clue)
Decide today that it doesn’t matter what others think, that God and his word can be your only controller. You were uniquely created by a Father that loves you desperately even when you feel alone, and in the dark, and scared. He is still calling your name softly. Whispering loving encouraging words. Listen to him.
Galatians 6:4-5 (NIV)
4 Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, 5 for each one should carry their own load.
The SECOND thought, as if this wasn’t already long enough for a blog is, are you being controlled by the negative end of your battery or the positive end?
In the controller of your life is it the positive end you live from or the negative end?
This world is tough enough without the Naysayers and the negativity sellers trying to provide the power to your controller. Even in the church. As a pastor you kind of get to know who they are. When you are having a meeting they are the first people to say, “We can’t do that!” Nothing has been checked, nothing has been researched and yet they start the conversation with, “That can’t be done!” I was at a conference at Fellowship Church in Arlington, Texas one year, Ed Young was speaking and he
was talking about wanting to do a series on loneliness. His sanctuary seats 3-4,000 I think and he wanted to bring a 747 Jetliner into the sanctuary. So he posed a question to his Creative Team: “How can we get a 747 in the Sanctuary?” Immediately someone said, “You can’t do that, it isn’t big enough.” I believe he told us that this person no longer works for Fellowship Church. Negative people are always telling you what cannot be done and why you won’t succeed, and how it isn’t going to work. They don’t often make a positive suggestion as a result of being creative. Positive people are looking for a way to make it work even if it isn’t in the original form. (Ed Young and Fellowship Church succeeded with Video and atmosphere where they couldn’t with an actual jet.)
What do you do with the negative people in your life? Sooner or later you have to decide if they are going to control you. Are they your controller? If So, you have to walk away, even if they are family. Negative can quickly become TOXIC and that is an altogether different blog.
Growing up there were two incidences in my life that “controlled me” and the path of my life. (Apart from Jesus making good out of the bad in my life I mean) They were small, very negative, and inconsequential from the outside. They were bigger than Goliath on the inside, and I ran from them instead of challenging them. The first was my desire to be a Veterinarian. I love animals, science, biology specifically and I think I would have been a great Vet. Really. But I was told I wasn’t from the right family. I was told that the governor or something would have to sign off on me and we weren’t from that “class” of people. To this day I can remember where I was and how that hit me. It was straight up negative, negativity with NO positive challenge to take on the world or overcome. Right there and then I grieved that loss and moved on. Fast-forward three or four years and I was sitting in the living room trying to teach myself the guitar. Someone who should have been my biggest supporter walked through the room and all they said was, “You want to know what your problem is, you don’t have any rhythm.” I sold the guitar the next day to a guy at work. That was the negative end of the battery right there. I was 17 and had no dreams of being a rock and roll star, just wanted to learn something creative. 20 some years later I was inspired by an up and coming guitar player to recapture that dream and I did. I’m no Carlos Santana, but Jesus and I have a good time.
Paul told the church in 2 Corinthians 1:19-21 (NIV)
19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us—by me and Silas and Timothy—was not “Yes” and “No,” but in him it has always been “Yes.” 20 For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God. 21 Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ.
And again Jesus said in Luke 17:20
“But while [the prodigal son] was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.
God is your biggest fan, listen to him encourage you as he says, “Yes.”