Cruise Control

This is the time of year for many to travel in special trips around the world and when many who can, decide to go on an adventurous cruise. Personally, I am aware of many who have recently been or still are on special mission trips or even some cruise. News of last Friday’s tragic crash (ironically on the 13th 😐 ) of the large Italian cruise liner, Costa Concordia, continues to impact people worldwide, even reminding many of the tragic historic sinking of the Titanic, 100 years ago this April. Search efforts continue for some 21 (of the 4,200 Concordia passengers) who are still unaccounted for, with 11 now confirmed to have died. While divers have found some passengers still alive days after the tragic crash, a continued gradual sinking of this tilted ship that ran aground is controlling the search efforts, putting rescue workers at greater peril and diminishing the hope of finding any more survivors. Reports of some questionable actions of this cruise ship’s captain, possibly even leading to the tragedy itself, have further complicated this story, leading to his incarceration and making future manslaughter chargers likely. Apparently, warnings and instructions were not given in a timely and proper manner and panic ensued as the ship’s crews tried to control getting passengers safely off the ship. As we pray for those families impacted from this latest tragedy and for those still hoping for some miracle rescue (including for 2 Americans), I would like for you to think with me further about this idea of cruise control.

There are many ways I could take this article, including a discussion about leadership and tying this to the political process (especially important in South Carolina today). Leadership is crucial in order to keep things under control and headed in the right direction. There have certainly been many abuses and failures of leadership among the various authorities involved in all of my personal tragedy! Much of what I discuss in the teaching portion of my book deals with the issue of authority and control (framed within the House of Authority/Control diagram I show on page 249). The thought I wish to focus on most here, has more to do with what happens when leaders and authorities fail to act or act properly. I am thinking more about the type of thing that happens when you stop manually driving and put your vehicle into cruise control. Are you living your life in cruise control?

There are many things in life that are outside of our personal control. You cannot control the daily changes in the weather (and it certainly is going up and down so far this winter! 😉 ). You cannot control the movement or spasms (like the recently observed one) of the sun, nor can you change the moon’s gravitational pull. You cannot change the laws of nature and reality, though you might choose to ignore or somehow try to replace them. You cannot make your arms and legs longer or shorter and you do not even have that much control over all of the automatic functions of your body. You might have some control over your mind and emotions, but you have very little control over the mind and emotions of any other person. I discussed this issue of control further in one of my earlier blog entries (05-01-08 “It is ALL about CONTROL!”). Again, my question here is how much are you trying to control or have you mostly given up and decided to just live in cruise control?

Have you heard the saying, “all it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing”? Please try not to focus so much on what you know you cannot do (reality defines this) or on what you think you cannot do or change (thus defaulting to a cruise control). Instead, focus on what you can do or what you can try to do to make a positive difference in whatever you face and with whomever you interact. Use the heart and soul and mind and strength that GOD has given you to change things for the good! Remember that HE is in Ultimate Control! Jesus Christ is The Creator and with Him, nothing in His will is impossible (see Mark 10:27)! Remember though, that you cannot do things merely in your own strength or in your own wisdom alone. Remember further that Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5). Learn to control what you can and keep your ship in His deep and satisfying waters! Instead of putting your life on cruise control (or even under some crews’ control 😉 ), how about giving your life to Christ’s Control? There is no better place of peace, safety and adventure than this!

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