Misery: The Price of Control

I know a married couple who are eating each other alive. It is a horrible thing to watch. Both are so consumed in the other's wrongdoings that they can't see anything else. They are helpless to see any answer or a solution other then bringing that other person down, making them pay an enormous price, and then demanding perfection from there on out. It is an impossible ideal. They are each wrought with pain; sometimes the pain seems almost physical. They think that if the other person would just change then they would be free to be nice and happy. It seems they think it would be so much easier to try to control the other person then it would be to change themselves. They believe that it is the other person who is holding them in this painful bondage. But that isn't true. It is their own white knuckled grip that is keeping them captive. Like prisoners holding on to chains that aren't even locked around their wrists. And yet they stay day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, chained, and fighting. It would make me not want to live.
When you think about it, the really big things in our lives, some of the defining things about us, were things over which we had no control: our race, our gender, or nationality, the year of our birth, the family we were born to, our genetics including our predisposition to certain cancers or other illnesses, the color of our eyes, our IQ, our disabilities, the size of our nose, ears, and feet. Sure, some of these things we can alter or interfere with. But when we came to earth, these circumstances came with us, as part of us.
But there are so many things we do choose. We make choices to save money or waste it, study or drop out of high school, have unprotected sex, exercise regularly, go to counseling, break the law, get married, abuse our kids, or go to church. We choose our friends. We choose our enemies. We love feeling in control. It really is an illusion of control, though. We can never leave our houses, brainwash our kids and spouse to do and say whatever we want, cling to our philosophies, and only associate with people who agree with us. But there is nothing we can do really, to stop an undetected heart defect from suddenly stopping our heart from beating or having a seizure and becoming a vegetable or even a terrorist plane from slamming into your building.
Wow this post is uplifting, huh?
I think our lives are like a handful of sand. The tighter we squeeze, the more we lose. We insist on control, even if it means our lover must leave us to keep from being suffocated. I just had a good friend break up with someone she loved very much because he was so afraid of loosing her, he was suffocating her. That's what control does. It causes the very opposite of what the controller wanted.
Here's where we come to me.
I'm not really sure what it is I am trying to control. But I know I am trying to control because I find myself in kind of a resistance to God. In a way, it kind of baffles me. I love Him. I have known Him. It was so good to be close to Him. And yet the idea of praying, talking to Him makes me inwardly groan right now. I think I have some sort of strong hold in my heart. Something I am keeping from Him. Something I am trying to hide and control.
C. S. Lewis once wrote, "The choice of every lost soul can be expressed in the words, 'Better to reign in Hell then serve in Heaven.' There is always something they insist on keeping, even at the price of misery."

What am I insisting on keeping?

How to use some one

I have a friend who has a big secret. He is fabulously wealthy. He's a multi-millionaire. I cannot fathom the amount of money he has- to be able to walk onto a car lot and think, 'I can have any car here. In fact, I could have three of them.' He is in his early 20s and he could buy any house in Des Moines. He probably will never have to work a day in his life. Here's his problem: he wants to find a wife. And not just a wife, he wants to find the love of his life. How do you do that when you are a millionaire?
So he has kept it a secret. It's really kind of romantic. Some girl is going to come along and fall for this average joe and upon her wedding day find out that he is virtually a king! I know he feels frustrated and lonely and is wondering when she will arrive in his life. And he knows he could probably have a wife tomorrow if he would only advertise his status. How tempting. But he is a smart guy. So he waits.

Tonight I am writing about using someone as a means to an ends.

On that note, why in the world would anyone want to surrender their lives to God? Doesn't it seem that it would be proof of God's love and existence if, once someone because a Christian, their lives became wonderful? If God has really 'saved' some people then why do they still get murdered? Why do their children get leukemia? Why are they not healed when they have a whole church praying for them and mass chain emails being sent out asking for prayers? Why don't all the non-Christians go bankrupt and get sick and have terrible relationships, etc, etc, etc.? Christians lives are no 'safer' then anyone else. God allows bad things to happen to even the kindest and seemingly most innocent. So what the heck?
Here's what I am thinking. God doesn't want to be used. He doesn't want to be reduced to a genie in a bottle, only summoned when we have a wish. There are lots of praying people in the hospitals. There aren't nearly as many in the parks. Being used hurts. I have no doubt it hurts God. I think praying in a time of need is better then not praying at all, but it still kind of hurts, I think. God is more like us then we realize in some ways (well, actually we were made in his image, so...). In one of his books, Phillip Yancey writes, "(It is implied) that God is not worthy of love in and of Himself, that people only follow God because they get something out of it.... God seeks, as a line from Handel tells it, "love unsought by price or fear." Love unsought by price or fear. How beautiful.
I think I might be a little mad at God right now. I think I feel let down. I think I feel like I should be getting more out of this whole relationship with him deal. I hate the silence. The physical separation. All of the unknowns. But mostly the silence. I know God speaks through his word. It is alive and active, I have felt it and heard it deep in my soul. I know God speaks through his majestic creation. But I am constantly surrounded by brick and even if I go a hundred miles, then I am surrounded with mud and corn. And maybe a few trees. Maybe I should move to the redwood forest in California and live in a tree house. I actually bet that would help. Maybe it's me. Maybe I have some sort of sin issue, some sort of strong hold that I refuse to acknowledge and deal with a let go of. Yuck yuck yuck I don't even want to divulge in there. What am I so afraid of? I think there are some people I am angry with that I don't want to forgive and let go of. I think I am afraid that God's plan for me involves moving my children down to the ghetto. I think there may be a secret from my past I don't want to tell. Why oh why is there ever accumulating crap in my soul?!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why does the layer of dust continue to return? And why in the world do I insist on hoarding that cancerous muck inside? God is gentle. But I think he wants to rip the band-aid off quickly. And I am afraid.
I don't want to use God. I think a real lover will settle for nothing less then the best for his love. And the best involves wholeness. And to be whole must require healing. And healing requires honesty.
I'm just going to end here.