God is Not in Control!
“God is in control” is a common phrase I often hear from God-fearing people. What it means is that God, the Supreme Being, who sits on a throne above, in a far away heaven, is in charge of everything happening on earth. He is like a puppeteer who controls the strings of our lives on a daily basis.
If we believe that we are co-creators of our lives with God, we have to stop the mindless and meaningless repetition of God is in control which means that we are so helpless about our life situation.
Most of what happens in our lives is not what God does to us, but what we do to ourselves.
The analogy of the relationship of the sun to the earth can help to understand this truth.
The sun provides the ingredients for life on earth — heat and light. The earth uses those ingredients to create conditions, such as photosynthesis, temperature controls, night, day, seasons, etc. to make life possible and sustainable.
It is important to remember that the going around and coming around of the Earth, is the result of what the earth does, not what the sun does.
The sun is constant. The earth moves. God is constant. Humans change.
If we agree that sunrise and sunset are optical illusions, and the happenings on earth are what the earth does in collaboration with the sun, the false notion of God as a celestial puppeteer evaporates. The pious cliché, God is in control, loses its potency to make humans impotent about their God-given power to manage their lives.
We should stop blaming God for the hell we have created on earth through wars, gun violence, and exploitation of the environment and take responsibility for our lives.
Frederick Buechner calls it “ways of escaping reality through religion and should be denounced right along with such other modes of escape as liquor, drugs, TV, or any simplistic optimism such as jingoism, right-wing evangelicalism, moralism, idealism and so on.”
The notion that God is not in control is not a negation of God’s omnipotence but an affirmation of our innate power to change the world. It is an invitation to move away from co-dependency to divine dependency. To abdicate our responsibility for the mess in the world by parroting God is in control, is anodyne atheism, not genuine faith.
The sun that never moves or changes in relation to the Earth, is a constant reminder of the ancient biblical wisdom about God as being constant in His affection for us.
There is a Latin phrase which has been my favorite when it comes to the constant, unchanging, presence of God in my life regardless of all the changes and movements that I constantly make. It says,
vocatus atque non vocatus, Deus aderit, (whether you call on Him, or don’t call on Him, God will be present with you.)
Divine protection is never a punishing surveillance, but a benevolent presence.
(from Cosmic Kindergarten: Earthly Lessons for a heavenly life)