When I was in grammar school, much of my free time was spent with my girlfriend Betty Jane. She and I would divide up my small wooden blocks, my black-and-white dominoes, and my plastic dollhouse furniture and dolls so that we could creatively design houses for the doll families. After the houses were carefully built, we would make up adventures for the doll families, with Betty and I providing the doll voices and commentary. You could say we strayed from the ordinary dollhouse play because we put our sometimes silly and always enjoyable spins on the exercise. Betty and I had complete control of the outcomes for the doll families. Other than the occasional mishap with domino walls toppling, we orchestrated every aspect of our play-date episodes.
In real life, control is always an issue. Especially today, we hear controversies spurred by such words as “mandates,” “restrictions,” “requirements,” “regulations,” and “orders.” There are controls on things we eat, use, view, and administer. Certainly in any society, rules and laws are necessary to protect everyone’s health and safety. Invariably, certain people will challenge these controls either for self-interest or, perhaps, out of well-meant concerns.
In our personal lives, health issues can limit our control. For example, we may not feel so free if diabetes treatment affects our diet. My arthritic knees challenge my control of certain exercises and other physical activities.
And let’s not forget who wants control of our spiritual lives. Satan is very sneaky and tries to disturb our peace and obstruct our journey to holiness. It is not unheard of for us to become a bit content and lackadaisical when life goes on routinely. We can get a bit “spoiled” when things are going our way. We might become complacent and overly lenient with ourselves.
Like a city breached, without walls, is one who lacks self-control. (Proverbs 25:28)