Status Quo

photoIf you live anywhere in the Midwest, especially in Oklahoma or maybe Kansas, you know that some powerful weather came through yesterday. We got hit about 4 p.m. with winds that they estimate topped 70 mph. I went outside my office and took some photos of the clouds, which looked like they were ready to drop a tornado on us.

I got home after dark. About 12:30 my wife and I were awakened by our three dogs barking ferociously. After some investigating I found out what was upsetting them: a 10-foot section of our privacy fence around our back yard had blown down, turning our backyard and our neighbor’s backyard into the same yard.

It took quite a while to settle the dogs down. In fact, we had to take the little one into our bed before she would shut up. And then, about half an hour after that, she started up again. Eventually, I ended up sleeping in a chair in our living room to keep the dogs quiet.

Our three dogs are with us for companionship, but also for protection. And in a lot of cases, they act just like humans do in similar circumstances. They like the status quo; they don’t like it when unexpected things happen to them. If they intentionally step out of their comfort zone and do something different, that’s ok. But most of the time they get agitated when a surprise comes up in their lives.

How many of us feel the same way? We have this belief that we are in control of our lives, and when circumstances remind us that we are not, we get excited. Upset. Agitated.

Well folks, I’ve got news for you. As I mentioned in a blog a while back, control is an illusion. The only One who is in control is God. That goes for you too, Satan. You’re not in control. Only God is.

Trouble is, God is also a strong believer in the power of choice. We aren’t predestined. We can choose to live or die. We can choose to follow God or not follow God.

As for those daily surprises that remind us that we’re not in control, consider this: “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Matthew 10: 29-31

As soon as it got light this morning, my wife went out to fix the fence. As we started to lift the panel back into place, a pigmy goat, a billy, came charging out of the neighbors yard. He was smaller than either of my two big dogs, but apparently he was what was causing such a panic with my three dogs the night before. It took some doing, but we convinced him to go back to his yard.

We are afraid of losing control. We are afraid of surprises–at least the unpleasant kind. And when things appear to challenge us–even something as small as a pigmy goat–we sometimes come unglued. What we need to remember is that we were never in control in the first place.

Someone much wiser, stronger and more caring is. And I am grateful.