While on vacation this summer, we had the opportunity to visit a park containing a unique collection of pink flamingos. What made this especially unusual was that tourists were allowed to move about freely among these birds!
Most of the flamingos seemed quite at ease with the antics of their admirers; however some preferred to keep their distance. I don’t blame them! We likely look pretty scary with those one-eyed protrusions (More commonly known as cameras!) that are where our faces should be!
One thing I noticed was that many of these birds seemed to think that they were in control, even if they were being chased about by an unruly child. This was even more evident during the Flamingo Parade. A bunch of flamingos were directed into a small enclosure by a trainer, and then were encouraged to strut about and do various antics. They did, indeed, go in the indicated direction indicated by the trainer, and most of them did, indeed respond to some oral commands. But what were they thinking?
As I watched most of them running about in the indicated direction, I could see that many of them thought they were in charge of their decisions. They might be ordered to circle some volunteer tourist, but they still believed they had complete control over their actions, especially if there was something shiny protruding from some body part! Be careful for your ears! “Ouch!” I warned you!
In all reality, the constant yelling, clapping, and arm waving of their trainer went farther towards producing the desired effect on their behaviour than the flamingos would have thought!
Doesn’t this remind you of something? How often don’t we think we are completely in charge of our lives? But it isn’t really so! We are constantly being directed by someone…
“The one called Devil and Satan, the one who led the whole earth astray…” (Rev 12:9 The Message)
“Don’t stay angry. Don’t go to bed angry. Don’t give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life.” (Eph 4:26-27 The Message)
When someone leads someone else astray, it means that that someone is in control! The same is true when someone has a “foothold in your life”! You might think you are in control, but are you really?
Is there a way out? Can I find freedom and true living?
“‘God goes against the willful proud; God gives grace to the willing humble.’ So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet.” (James 4:6-10 The Message)
“The thief (the devil) comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10 NIV)
Real living is only possible when you first admit that you are not in control of your life. Then you must realize that no one is better qualified to be at the helm of your life than God Himself! Only then will you be able to start enjoying real living. Oh, you’ll still be able to make your own choices, and you’ll still be allowed to make the wrong ones! But if you make a habit of depositing it all into God’s hands, it is also a life where you will be victorious!
Remember: The devil has already been defeated, and all he can really do is bark. But defeated or not, he is still a good illusionist and a master manipulator. Don’t let him intimate you, and especially don’t let him make you believe that his choice is your best choice!
“Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death – that is, the devil- and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.” (Heb 2:14-15 NIV)
Hey, look where the flamingos are heading! Who is really in control of your life?
(To access the entire “Control Freaks’ Senility” devotional series, please click here.)