While the television remote has been around for nearly sixty years, it has only been widely used in the last couple of decades. Some of us old-timers can actually remember having to get up and walk over to the television to change the channel. How pre-historic!Actually it was in 1952 that Zenith introduced a remote called, appropriately enough, “Lazy Bones,” which was attached to the television via a long cable. This wasn’t a popular device as there were so few channels to change. Three years later, the “Flash-o-Matic” appeared–a flashlight that when shined toward light-sensitive cells in each of the four corners of the TV would perform different remote functions. This device proved to be a problem, however, if the television was placed near sunlight. The sun’s rays would play havoc on the operations of the TV.A group of engineers then developed the Zenith “Space Command,” a wireless remote using ultrasonic waves, in 1957. It worked pretty well, except for its functons being affected by clinking metal, such as dog tags, and its high frequencies making dogs bark. In spite of its drawbacks, the ultrasonic remote was used for two decades until engineers discovered the infrared remote control. Now the infrared beam pointed in the direction of the TV gives viewers–especially male viewers–control of their television from the comfort of their easy-chair.We humans do relish control, don’t we? With the advent of such new technologies, we can now remotely control not only our televisions, but also our DVD players, sound systems, computers and car locks. I’m not even sure I would know how to operate our DVD player without the remote, and I don’t know that my key has ever been used to open my car door (and it’s a ’98 model!)There’s just something about the awesome power of pushing a little button and gaining instant control of our environment. Some things, however, were never meant to be in our control, no matter how much we might wish otherwise. God, in fact, has a plan for each of our lives, and ultimately, that plan always involves our recognition that we are not in control, and that He is. It is submission to His will–His control–that is at the heart of true Christian discipleship.I have to admit, I don’t always like that; I’d much rather be able to control my situation, especially if I could just find a device that would allow me to change things I don’t like with the push of a button. But that’s just not the way life is.The truth is, there is a comfort in allowing God to graciously control our lives, and a security that comes when we learn to trust His sovereign plan. What soul rest we experience when we don’t have to worry about tomorrow. What peace we know when we realize we don’t have to control our little world, not even “remotely.” He is in control!
I’m praying for you, and I look forward to seeing you Sunday.