Monday, February 16, 2009


I think that most of you who read this blog will be familiar with Janet Jackson's debut record circa 1986. Just in case you need to be re-familiarized and/or educated on the song/debut album here is a link to the lyrics (complete with awesome youtube of the VIDEO! yess...I love the 80s!)

You may be wondering why I was thinking of things from 1986, especially in regards to an artist now known best for an unfortunate wardrobe malfunction (seriously, when I googled Janet's name that was like the second thing that came up. It's sad that is what she might be remembered for rather than the ground breaking Rhythm Nation. If you don't know what I'm referencing now, or just want to reminisce, click here:

and here:

Well, as I was praying this morning, to make a long story short, control was an issue that has continually come up in my life and I know the lives of many others. It's an occassion of sin and a source of anxiety for sooo many of us, but it's one of those things our culture and the devil like to disguise as "okay", when really, Jesus just wishes we'd stop stressing and give Him permission to do what is best for us!

Being a child of the 80's, and lover of music, the Janet Jackson song came to mind. In re-reading the lyrics in the link I posted, it is clear that Janet has fallen subject, sadly, to what so many of us do. We think that to be in control is going to help us. Sigh. In following my previous posts on the cycle of trusting and surrender and abandonment, it's clear that this is not the case.

To better demonstrate my point (i'm all about the visuals today!) I wish to use an analogy. Ahem...

Imagine that you are invited to a party on a cold day. There are lots of people inside the house as you approach it, and there are lots of signs of light and life that you can see through the window. But you don't really know or recognize too many of the people inside. It's people you don't know very well. It is uncertain what might happen once you step inside. So, rather than go inside right away to get warm, you just stand out in the cold hoping that someone you know will walk past you soon. You'd rather stand in the cold because there you have control of the situation. You are able to determine what you will encounter, what you see and take in, are cold!!!

Maybe that is a bad analogy, but I think it makes the point. It's like we would rather be outside alone in the cold sometimes, rather than risk the possibilities of the unknown, even though it is guaranteed to at least be a little warmer, if nothing else!

I see so many of my friends and so many people in our culture (poor, Janet Jackson!) giving up the potential possibilities for peace, love, and warmth, at the sake of having control. Myself included.

Does that make sense as I wrote it? I hope so! But does it make sense in our lives? I don't think so. Sorry Miss Jackson (cue Outkast song here!)

I don't know about you, but I like to think I'd pick being warm and inside, risking potential rejection (with the possibility for new friendships or love!) than outside and alone but in control.

It seems to make sense when we put it in this context, but just think of all the situations in which we isolate ourselves simply because we'd like to remain in control.

So today and in the week to come, I'm going to try to put myself in the 'warmth'. I hope that you will too! I know that Jesus will bless our risk-taking, even if it is uncomfortable. Being cold is uncomfortable, too, that's for sure! No need to make ourselves miserable! At least satisfy the obvious need for light and warmth at the risk of the unknown. Amen? Easier said than done, I know ;)

Have a good week! And remember, Surrender is better than Control :) No matter what the Jacksons and Cheap Trick and any other band of the 80s may say :)

Ah, thanks again for reading!

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