Who Is In Control?

Have you consider who is yanking your string?

Puppet on a StringMy favorite puppet performance comes from the “Sound of Music” with Julie Andrews (Click Here). They are more appropriately named marionettes. Though “The Lonely Goatherd” is a favorite, when I think about it there is no other performance that comes to mind so I have nothing to compare it to. I’m sure this performance is enjoyed by thousands every day of the year!

Marionettes are controlled by strings attached to their limbs and manipulated by someone talented to move the control rods, bringing the dangling figure to life.

Amazingly, an early morning article talking about what I fear may be a new marionette hanging out in the wings that will be the controller of you and I – Chatbots… (from Business Insider). If you think about it for a moment, we are constantly relinquishing control of research and handling mundane tasks to voices and systems that step in to help us respond to our needs. Think Apple’s SIRI, Amazon’s Echo, etc.

“Think of bots on a spectrum, from “dumb bots” to “smart bots”” (BI) and we’ve been using them in the background of technology for years. But treated correctly, dumb can become smart. As the BI article says, “They can store, synthesize, and recall lots of information, like your credit card number or home address, to help make your life easier. They can even anticipate what you want before you ask.

Here’s a thought. We give up control all the time to websites, applications and systems all the time. We share our private information in way too many places and are controlled by the data stored in the databases around the world. Imagine, buying something from Europe and your private data is in the hands of another countries company!

So, control is being given to a programmed system that will have the power to communicate with other  apps, setting up events, announcing results, and acting on your behalf. What if that “smart bot” suddenly becomes dumb? What if a virus attacks bots all around the world?

What power do you give to the those things that control you? It’s almost a drug question. When we give in to something that takes control over us, then we are lost, and out of control. We need to be in control of those controllers…

The Apostle Paul lists some offshoots of a Spirit Filled life. You will find this an interesting list.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV)

I’m not sure that Paul had a priority to this list, but we’ve learned elsewhere that Love is at the top of a short list that includes faith and hope (1 Corinthians 13:13). Still, consider that at the bottom of his list in Galatians is the infamous Self Control! If there is a priority to this list, then all the others must be more important – love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and gentleness.

Still. Self Control is very important. There are many areas where Self Control needs to be exercised. Your personal health, your expression of thoughts into words, your wildly out of control emotions… This list is endless!

Perhaps that is part of the problem. There are many areas we need to exercise our control and we struggle with with knowing what to do, and when to do it. It sometimes become easier to simply let someone, or something, be in control of portions of our lives. Maybe its that part of life where we struggle to be in control, or another part we do not want to exercise control. We need to learn how to regain control. It’s really important.

A long time ago I learned to be in control of my Dr Pepper habit. I used to drink several every day, but now only 1 or 2 per week. Now.. There are other parts I need to exercise self control over… Just saying… I’m working on it!