The Illusion of Control

Life consists of the past, the present and the future.

The past has departed does not exist anymore.

The present is not an existence. It is in constant motion. It is fleeting. Constantly replaced with another present, then the next, then the next. There is no timeframe, no bounds. This undefined entity represents the fraction of life we can control.

The future: this is the majority of life. The biggest piece of the puzzle of which we have no control. The future never arrives; just as we get close enough to touch it, it manifests into our present. It slips right through our fingers. This makes it completely unknown and untouched by humankind. The future represents an abstract existence of what will be, what might be, or what could be. Is the future written? Do we even have any control? Is there a such thing as destiny? Is the present really ours if it is already written before we reach it? Is control an illusion? Or maybe the future is yet to be written. Maybe the future is a black hole of possibility and potential. Maybe we can manipulate it with the choices we make in the present. Maybe the realization of how much control we really have to manifest our own future gives us power.

However, no matter how much control we think we have, we can never know for sure what tomorrow holds, what the next second holds. We can try to predict but that doesn’t give us power. In fact it does just the opposite. It gives us a false sense of security. We do not know of anything beyond ourselves. Beyond what we have seen. Our truths. So then what is the force which decides tomorrow? Is It God? Is It the universe? Is this force gracious? Or are we all insignificant to It? Are we mere pawns? Does It jeer at our incompetence, at our inferiority, at our ignorance? Or are we Its beloved creation? There must be a force beyond coincidence because coincidence can only be stretched so thin. Many things in life do not fall into place, they are pushed by a force larger than us. Wiser. And those of us that believe in this force must believe that the force has mercy for our own self preservation. Our own sanity. But in reality there is no way to actually know the truth.

Whatever this force is, we are slaves to It. And yet some of us feel as if we are in complete control. Why doesn’t the force just show us? Show us all how small we are? There are many questions in life that we ask and never get an answer to because we are not entitled to an answer. Some of us do get an answer and for that reason I feel that the force is gracious. It does not have to gift us with anything.

Miracles. What is a miracle? When something happens that we don’t expect. But this is also the definition of tragedy. So even though they seem so different they are quite similar in their nature. They are both so utterly and completely out of our control. Tragedy and miracles are proof that there is something more than what we see. Something so far beyond us that the only way to know it exists is to accept it. Blind faith as it is called. Faith is blind because it can be reached when we have unchained ourselves to the illusion of truth. That truth can only exist in what we have seen. Seeing in itself is superficial. It suggests a sense of truth, of certainty, when in reality nothing is certain… to us anyway.

Surrender. To surrender is to accept that you do not have control. To acknowledge that you are in service to something greater and to be grateful.

Why do bad things happen to good people? Is God malicious? Does He punish? Or is it all just randomized? Does God pick out of a hat? Flip a coin? Roll a dice?

Or maybe he gives bad things to the best of us to test our limits. We are his creation after all and he loves to see us flourish. We all want to revel in our own successes. Maybe he seeks to humble us: show us that no matter how much we think we know, we really don’t know anything. That no matter how invincible we feel, He can break us in a blink of an eye, a snap of His fingers. Nothing is ours in life. We are not entitled to anything. My body is not mine. I can make a fist right now, but I can’t control that tomorrow I’ll be able to make a fist. So is my hand really mine?