Before every evening service this week at Cannon Beach, the platform personnel meet for a brief prayer meeting in a little room at the back of the chapel. Each night I’ve noticed a saying tacked on the door where you can’t miss it:

The Opposite of Faith is Control.

I have been thinking about that all week long, and the more I think about it, the more profound it seems. Most of us like to be in control. I know I do. I prefer to know what’s going on, to set my own agenda, and to be in the driver’s seat of life. Most of us have that tendency to some degree, and some people become control freaks, wanting to run their own life and everyone else’s at the same time.

The danger of being in control is that you’re not even though you think you are. Life is so uncertain, so fragile, and every day brings an entirely new set of challenges. Has there ever been a day when everything went exactly the way you planned–down to the tiniest details? I didn’t think so. At best we are only partly in control, or more likely slightly in control. Mostly we just make our choices, do the best we can, take a few steps forward, and then we deal with whatever happens next, which is never exactly what we expected.

So that’s where that saying comes in. You can live by faith or you can be in control. But you can’t do both at the same time.

Lord, forgive me for trying to take your place. I want to learn to live by faith with you in control of my life. Amen.

You can reach the author at ray@keepbelieving.com. Click here to sign up for the free weekly email sermon.