Bad College Football Cliche’ #73

"They still control their own destiny."

I am so sick and tired of that phrase, "control their own destiny". First of all, that’s true of every team. Second, it’s not completely true of any. Every team playing a game today controls their own destiny, and every team they’re playing also to some degree controls that first team’s destiny. It’s everything playing out against everything else that "controls destiny". If a team wins out, did they control their own whatever, or did the other teams attribute at least as much by not playing as well? If a team loses today, does it no longer control it’s destiny, or is it still exerting as much "control" as it can muster by playing poorly?

None of us completely control our own destiny. We control our response to whatever destiny might be unfolding before us, around us. And that response and reaction then exerts some sort of control on the continuing destiny down the road. I guess. But it’s the wrong place to focus, isn’t it? Like destiny is something we control or it controls us, when in reality it seems like a perfect example of the both/and situation.

Which brings me back to the "repent over our righteousness" thread, sort of (one, two, three). If we think we have some control of our own "righteousness", by being good and doing the right things and upholding the law in all things, we’re wrong. If we think we have no control, by just doing our best with our best intentions, then we’re still equally wrong. And God, in what I can only begin to describe as unfathomable wisdomand grace, doesn’t hold it against us. That’s where that thread goes. We can’t be good enough or do good enough or do enough good things to rate a "You Deserve It" from God. He’s not waiting for us to screw up and throw lightning bolts of hellfire at us. Instead, He’s waiting for us to follow Him sometimes, and ready and unsurprised when we don’t sometimes, knowing that in both of those there are opportunities for us to look to Him again. He’s bridged all the gaps, and there are many many gaps in our good and in our bad, so that He can forget the stuff that holds us apart and work through the things that bring us closer.

He’d rather be with us than without us. And He’s not so much controlling destiny as He’s sovereignly playing alongside to see if we want to win bad enough, if we want to stay on the right team and get in the right game.

I’ll stop. I think I stretched this particular metaphor farther than GameDay will allow.


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