The Illusion of Control (#876)

When God invites us to give up our need to control our circumstances, isn't he really asking us to give up our illusion of control? Even our best attempts to maintain control fail or even backfire. Kyle and Wayne are back for a nineteenth season of The God Journey after a month off. They reflect on the curious and painful adventures of the past year and what they hope for ahead in 2023. They talk about control as an illusion and how living in God's love, rest, and play will negate our need to control and allow us to extend grace not only to ourselves in our struggles but also to others in theirs.

Podcast Notes:
The video version of the recording of this podcast



  1. Wayne, your comment in the podcast about when users can’t use you anymore, they cut you at the knees, really resonated with me. Especially using religion as a tool as a means to an end.

    When I was newer in the faith, and had a growth spurt, I was accused of becoming too religious. Looking back, it was more of being a threat to the manipulation that was occurring. It finally came out that I was to serve the relationship for financial gain, not to grow in the Lord.

    Thankfully it didn’t stop me from continuing to grow, and I still hold out for some type of reconciliation in the relationship. There were helpful things given to me initially that I carry to this day. I only wish I can someday return the favor. I have reached out often in vain, and have become longsuffering. I am buoyed by my relationship with Jesus and others which have enabled me to stay the course here.

    I must remember that in all my relationships, God has the final say, not me.

  2. I listened to 2 podcasts while on a long drive yesterday and so my apologies if this comment is written in the wrong one.

    I respect and have gained a lot from listening to and reading your work Wayne and hope you understand that I’m not suggesting there is anything wrong with it. I understand your work is your best effort at following God and that we all experience things differently and so we each will write and talk about God as he reveals himself to us.

    But here’s the thing … I have never felt quite comfortable with the terms you have coined to represent the greater truth you are wanting to share with others ie ‘Love Rest Play’. I thought perhaps it was because – to me – it had sounded too much like a ‘principle’ you are trying to ‘create’/share or a catch phrase to become the next great thing, or whatever – even though I know that is not what you do or aim for. But each time you throw those words out in the podcasts it has felt increasingly grating within me (sorry) … but then in this podcast Kyle used ‘Rest Love Play’ and I cannot describe the difference felt within me – those words said in that order – for me – had the opposite reaction in me. The tone Kyle was speaking in may have helped, but I don’t believe that is what made the difference, but rather the order – those words in that order seem to be incredibly gentle and soothing to me. Even the word Play feels different – which I hadn’t really been enamored with in your choice of, but now seems to fit a bit better into the shorthand list of what walking with God is like. (I’m not sure how the change in order of the first 2 words would affect the way I see the last – but somehow it did?!). I’m still not sure it’s quite the word I would personally pick but at least it sits better within now when I think those words and what they are a short hand of – of what seeking God has done in me and in my life.

    I spent 20 or so adult years getting to know the God of religion and have spent the last 10 out of that and getting to know him in person. I always felt that you couldn’t make yourself love someone or something just because you are told you should or need to and so, for me, Love, wasn’t the first thing for me. It was learning to ‘Rest’ – learning that he was good and that he was trustworthy – that I could trust him in all things – that I could stop trying to control everything to try and stop all the bad happening and instead to rest in his care for me.

    The bad still happens but I am coming to trust that he will get me through it and that I will be ok. Much of the anguish of the bad is getting anxious and worked up about what is going to happen or might happen, not just what is happening. I am learning that if I give those anxieties and fears over to God then I have more capacity to deal with what is and because I am learning to trust him I seek his help and am growing to trust that he has ‘got this’ (whatever the ‘this’ may be).

    My fear of pain used to be so great that it has taken a lot of work by God for me to be able to not fear good. Good seemed to always be followed by something bad that took the ‘good’ away so I feared good and only allowed small amounts at a time before I dampened it down before the good could be ruined and replaced with something painful or unappealing. So learning God’s goodness; learning to Rest in him (trust in him – trust in the good he has for us) has been a big learning curve for me, one in which I am finding love growing out of. The love is coming out of a heart being healed – bit by tiny little bit. My heart is increasingly getting fuller and fuller and I no longer need to seek, quite so much, to ease my inner pains and struggles, for they are being healed and there is less (not completely gone – things still rear their head sometimes) and I have, instead, a growing sense of love – a feeling a fullness within that shows me what I want for those I love and those around me – it is giving me an enormous sense of goodwill and caring for them – and for everyone out there – and for the God that, although I can’t see him or grasp him fully with my mind, I am coming to turn to – whether it be belief or just plain hope. Hope, because while I don’t yet to know fully that he is real and true, I sure do hope so because my life has gotten so, so much better since giving him a go and taking a chance on that being the case.

Comments are closed.