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Real Answers™
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Copyright: © 2011 Greg Asimakoupoulos
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A SEASON FOR GIVING UP CONTROL

By: Greg Asimakoupoulos

A month ago I sat with my eighty-four year old mother in her doctor's office. At the end of her appointment, Dr. Rutherford indicated that she had reached a season in her life when it was no longer appropriate for her to be behind the steering wheel of her car. As her friend and physician, he asked my mom to relinquish her keys. She resisted at first. But as the good doctor made his case, Mom eventually gave in.
 
For my mother, giving up her keys represented a loss of independence After losing my dad to cancer two years ago and then moving out of the family home into a retirement complex six months later, surrendering her keys was yet another loss. Each loss meant the evaporation of personal freedom and having to depend upon others.
 
Not being in total control of our lives isn’t just the reality of memory-challenged octogenarians. It is a fact of life for all of us. Earthquakes, tsunamis and windstorms remind us how vulnerable we are. So do heart attacks, brain aneurisms and drunk drivers who run red lights. Coming to terms with our lack of independence is sobering exercise. Life is bigger than we are. We are not self-sufficient.
 
Christians throughout our nation are currently in the midst of an annual pilgrimage. This forty day inner journey known as Lent is a time for contemplating the sufferings of Christ (including his forty days in the wilderness and the torturous treatment at the hands of Roman soldiers). It is a season for reflection, listening for God to speak and self-denial.
 
Lent is traditionally marked by voluntarily giving up something we routinely enjoy. By surrendering some favorite activity, food, beverage or television program, we relinquish a degree of control to which we've become accustomed. It is a tangible way of giving up and letting go. In this process of self-deprivation, we give up our “car keys” and acknowledge our dependence on a Higher Power.
 
The Hebrew psalmist abandoned the driver’s seat as he contemplated the complex nature of the cosmos. Looking into the night sky he felt dwarfed.
 
“When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them?” (Psalm 8:3-4 NIV)
 
But such an admission requires self-reflection and a season of introspection. Our tendency as willful humans is to hold on to the “keys” and grip the steering wheel of our lives with white-knuckled tenacity. Like my mom, we resist the thought of losing control. We can’t imagine how we can possibly reach the destination we’ve dreamed of unless we continue to drive.
King Solomon learned the value of riding shotgun after a series of selfish choices. His wisdom and wealth failed to fuel his dreams. When he eventually ran out of gas, he discovered just how comfortable the passenger seat can be. What else could explain his confidence as he wrote… 

 

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV). 

 

Yes, it’s true. All of us will eventually reach the season of life where our loved ones will not trust us with keys to the car. Age will take its toll and render us unreliable. But for those who are willing to recognize their finiteness, regardless of their faith perspective, now is the  season  to acknowledge your dependence on the Almighty and hand over the keys of control.

"Real Answers™" furnished courtesy of The Amy Foundation Internet Syndicate. To contact the author or The Amy Foundation, write or E-mail to: P. O. Box 16091, Lansing, MI 48901-6091; amyfoundtn@aol.com

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