Oogway: My friend, the panda will never fulfill his destiny, nor you yours until you let go of the illusion of control.
Oogway: Yes. [points at peach tree]
Oogway: Look at this tree, Shifu: I cannot make it blossom when it suits me nor make it bear fruit before its time.
Shifu: But there are things we *can* control: I can control when the fruit will fall, I can control where to plant the seed: that is no illusion, Master!
Oogway: Ah, yes. But no matter what you do, that seed will grow to be a peach tree. You may wish for an apple or an orange, but you will get a peach.
Shifu: But a peach cannot defeat Tai Lung!
Oogway: Maybe it can, if you are willing to guide, to nurture it, to believe in it.
Shifu: But how? How? I need your help, master.
Oogway: No, you just need to believe. Promise me, Shifu, promise me you will believe.
Script from the movie Kung Fu Panda
The other night I sat and looked at one of the lists I had created as I journaled my thoughts & goals for this new year of twenty ten. Gentleness, Patience, & Self-Control, three fruits of the Spirit that I knew I needed more of in my life. Flashes of me losing control as I dealt with my children brought tears to my eyes as I watched “mean” mom emerge like Mr. Hyde. I closed my journal and started to pray & God began to speak to my human heart about my “illusion of control”.
See in so many ways I am a lot like Shifu in my thinking when it comes to dealing with “self” issues. “I can control when the fruit will fall, I can control where to plant the seed.” I want the fruit but I also want that control in my life.
The New Year is here and I am anxious for a clean slate so I decide to plant some seeds in my life. I pray, wish and ask for these seeds to grow into an apple or an orange tree, but end up crying in frustration when it grows into a peach tree once again. No matter what I am always going to be that peach tree in all its humanness & fragilities. The tree that too often lets Satan inch in on her weaknesses and gain footholds in her life. The tree that jealously looks upon the other trees & wonders how they do what I want to do with what seems to be great ease when I struggle and fail.
I have a choice to make. #1 I can keep wishing I was someone else who was stronger, more gentle, more patient, etc… & then foolishly rely on my own strength to seemingly accomplish the above in my illusion of control or #2 I can accept I am a peach tree and surrender to God all my weakness. I can surrender to him my fear of failure and inadequacies. I can then open my tight grip on my illusion of control and admit that I can’t do it on my own. I must believe in this verse in Ephesians 3:20 “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.”
“But a peach cannot defeat Tai Lung or aka (Satan & His footholds)”
“Maybe it can, if you are willing to guide, to nurture it, to believe in it”
Yes, even the very human peach is able to beat the forces against it but only if it will believe in the mighty power of God at work within it. It must continue to nurture that belief by seeking out God everyday and spending time in prayer & in reading His word. The peach must grow closer with God until it truly believes that God is able to accomplish infinitely more in its life then it could even imagine. Once we give up that illusion of control, God will be able to work in your life & the bondage you feel will be defeated & you will feel the freedom for now God is in control.
So I just ask you today are you still holding onto any illusions of control in your life? Are you ready to surrender that control & let him work within you His mighty power? If we really want to change, we must TRULY believe God is able.
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