Saturday, July 07, 2018

Giving Up Control...To the Lord

Take control of what I say, O LORD,
and guard my lips. Psalm 141:3

Most of us have watched a medical drama episode where the young doctor wants very much to solve the problem and goes too far in saving the body while losing the patient. The patient for their part ends up brain dead and connected to what we call life-sustaining machines. There is debate over whether this is life or not. Most careers involving problem solving have similar situations, though perhaps not involving a human life.

The story of my first laptop repair while here in Julesburg goes much the same, and I have probably told it before. For those new to this daily devotional, I get to tell it again. For the others, you can chalk it up to me practicing to be an old man, if you wish. A new friend had suffered a financial disaster in his life, and presented to me a dead laptop. (Presented, heh, watching too many medical videos.) No question, it was a dead laptop.

I had the owner buy a replacement battery. Nope. Then I began digging into the problem in earnest with no stopping point except to fix the laptop and give the man some good news in the midst of his financial and now legal and personal disaster. Before I quit, I spent about $300 of my meager funds and put at least $1,000 in labor into a dead laptop. My friend could no way afford this sort of bill in his condition and I never invoiced him.

In learning from this lesson, I realized that what I wanted was control, not over his life of course, but over mine. The focus of that control in the moment being that particular dead laptop. It still does not work and I still have the thing in a plastic tote down in my basement as a reminder. Even from strictly worldly terms it did not make sense to expend the effort and money that I did since the thing could be replaced for $200 with a refurbished model of the same brand and size on EBay. Sending my friend after a new replacement laptop would not cost anywhere near what I put into the dead one, though he could not afford to do that at the time. Problem solving can become an idol if we nudge the Lord aside by not listening to Him and by forcing control on that which we many have no control over.

The thing was dead and I could not fix it; deal with it and give up control to God our Father. And indeed once I quit sinking money and expending effort flogging the proverbial dead moose, the Lord provided a laptop of a larger size that someone no longer wanted which I sold to my friend. Wait, what? Provided, sold? Yes, by that time my financial situation was no better than my friend's and he would have in no case accepted charity from me. I hope that the lesson of that first laptop sticks with me, because in any career there is the danger of letting that which we think we have control over deceive us into thinking we have control over all things. That is called humanism and you will see it presented in many an entertainment and educational vector. Like that doctor in the show, we could also do harm with a manic grasping after control over life or death, and I do believe that God calls the shots on those things and many others. Perhaps that is why we know Him as Sovereign and Almighty.

Have an out of (your) control Saturday, give up control to God!


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