You want to know powerlessness? Try explaining to an autistic child why he can’t play his computer because the electricity went out.

If you lived in Florida for any length of time and experienced even an exterior band of one of our tropical storms, you know powerlessness. Literally.

The most control you can claim in your darkened silent home or office is the ability to call Progress Energy, your face aglow from your cellphone’s keypad (thank God for batteries) and plead for when you might get your power restored so you can move on with your life.

Autistic kids just don’t get it. They are so accustomed to plugging a socket into the wall and poof! everything works. But when their lifeline is cut, they are sobered to the reality (which they try desperately to fight or deny) that they have been living on borrowed power. They really don’t have control.

Neither do I of almost anything in my life.

Do you know how frustrating it is for a control freak (a.k.a., co-dependent) to realize they really have no control over anything?!

Even if I paid my bills, I still can’t guarantee I will always have water pouring through the pipes or electricity pulsing through the wires of my home.

I don’t have control of my job stability.

I don’t have control of my yard (don’t cut it for a month in the summertime and you’ll see how powerless you are).

I don’t have control of my spouse or my kids. If you think you do, you’re in denial (stay tuned as we’ll cover that topic next week).

I don’t even have a lot of control over what comes out of my mouth. How often have I said something stupid or hurtful and wondered who the heck said that or where did it come from?

The truth is we are all completely powerless. Like babies. Like butterflies.We can’t even control our own heartbeat. Sure, if you sprint a flight of stairs, it’ll beat a little faster. But you can’t stop it for an hour and then start it up again—and it’s in your body. So why would we think we can control anything outside of our body?

It’s humbling. It’s sobering. It’s terrifying. It’s impotence at its worst (sorry guys for literally hitting you below the belt.)

But if we choose to look at it another way—and that’s a big if–it’s also quite freeing. Incredibly so.

It releases our frozen grip from the steering wheel so we can sit back and enjoy the ride. It lets us check out the scenery, enjoy the rolling hills, and gawk at the blossoms that line the road. It lets us gaze up into the cloud-dappled sky, turning our faces to the only true source of power in the universe.

“The God who made the whole world and everything in it…gives all men life and breath and everything else…” (Acts 17:24-5)

Now if only he’d give me the words so I could explain it to my 6’2”, 190-pound autistic fifteen-year-old having a meltdown on my living room floor.


What area in your life are you ready to admit you have no control over?