The illusion of control

A quote from one of my favorite people, Episcopal priest and all-around prolific powerhouse, Barbara Brown Taylor, has been making the rounds lately...

We do not lose control of our lives. What we lose is the illusion that we were ever in control in the first place.

- Barbara Brown Taylor

When pandemics strike, we see the reality of the human situation. We are not in control. Sure, we have some volition. But control? Nnnno.

And so when it all hits the fan, we see two main reactions from people…

One reaction is panic, projection, and unabashed self-preservation. Trying to do everything one can in order to get some sense of control over their situation no matter the impact it has on others. (This can be observed at your local grocery store right now.)

Another reaction is a surrendering of one’s sense of control (as it’s recognized that human control was an illusion to begin with). This brings about the ability to receive divine blessing and guidance because we’ve gotten out of the way of it. And we can bless and empathize with others because we know how little in control they (and we) all are. The little that we can do can be done with an undertone of love, mercy, and grace rather than panic and white-knuckled frantic fury.

Realizing how little control we have allows us to move through the world in a more restful manner (even though we’re still freaking out and making irrational decisions, which is absolutely fine and normal). It allows us to receive the grace that’s on hand all the time but that becomes so apparent during times of crisis.

May you, my friend, find some semblance of rest while knowing how little control we all have not just in times like these, but at all times. And in that space, may you find something bigger — something more — shining through and leading the way.

Grace & Godspeed,