“It just happened! I couldn’t control myself.”
So goes the opening lines of many excuses. They are very familiar; I have used them hundreds of times. As I reflect on the when and where I tried to make the fact that I had chosen a destination without the use of my mind or common sense trivial and inconsequential there is a common denominator. When I looked at my choice in light of the values and priorities I held close to my heart, it did not make any sense. How could I have gone in that direction given what I know and hold dear? Is it possible that something else was controlling me? Was I temporarily insane?
The irony, sad in many ways, is that I find myself far too often in this pool of questions. In my case there are some common causes, but this isn’t the point. I push my body way beyond its ability to function without sleep. I run until the system that holds life is parched, famished, and totally exhausted. In this context lousy decisions are almost an automatic! Yet the ability, is it willingness, to take the corrective action is problematic.
For others it is a different challenge. It could be stress, the type and quantity of food consumed, or anything that touches the fullness of who and what we are. Anything that passes our eyes, ears, touch, smell, and taste could be a factor. Even beyond that our own imaginations could be a driver. The common factor is a loss of control. We are in positions of risk – to ourselves and to those who could be lifted towards the Divine but are not!
Wisdom knew this from personal experience. So in this context his advice is clear, direct, and useful. “Use wine and beer only as sedatives, to kill the pain and dull the ache of the terminally ill, for whom life is a living death.” (Proverbs 31.6, 7) Yet questions remain for you and me; ones begging for answers that are clear, resolute, and fresh.
In, out of control?