The focus statement in Sunday’s bulletin read: “As we seek God’s way, we move from an understanding of power that grasps for control over others to an understanding that power comes from working with and for others.” That idea was further developed in the Call to Worship. “Together we seek the way of God, a way so different from the ways of the world. We remind ourselves to loosen our grasp, to trust instead of control. We Praise a God we cannot see and celebrate a salvation we do not understand.”
“To trust instead of control and celebrate a salvation we do not understand.” There is something in me that wants to define how those words are understood, but trust requires my allowing them speak for themselves. We humans have this compulsion to tie down loose ends, plan to the nth degree, try to control outcomes. But we can’t. If the pandemic and my husband’s death have taught me anything, it has been I am not in control. I don’t get to decide, shape, and determine what happens. Left in the wake of his leaving, I have few options but to work with and for others, to trust an unknown future, to love and let be. My aging brings an increasing dependence on others, reminding me to loosen my grasp on the who, what, when, where and whys of life and to be content to praise a God I cannot see and celebrate a salvation I do not understand.
Several men were here servicing our heating/cooling system this morning. They taught me how to program and reset the thermostat – just another reminder of how completely our lives are intertwined with both the known and unknown. There is nothing I can do that is not dependent on someone else in some way. I am reminded of a TED talk in which a woman traced all of the steps and people required to pour her morning coffee. Her quest led her to many different countries and hundreds, perhaps thousands of people who played a part in bringing her her morning coffee. Multiply that one cup of coffee by every item we touch or use; the car one drives, the clothing one wears, the food one eats, the electricity one uses – the list goes on and on – and the need to trust and appreciate rather than to control and dominate becomes very apparent. There is no such things as a self made man; we are inextricably tied together for good or ill. In a very real way, I suspect, that reality also applies to the God we cannot see and the salvation we do not understand.