For the past few years, I’ve used a “clicker” to control the PowerPoint slides when I preach. In the old days I had to wait for the guy in the sound booth to advance my slides, but no more!
Being in control is exhilarating, so it’s no wonder I love the PowerPoint clickers. Best of all, they eliminate the need to rely on anyone else to help me while I preach. I can do it all by myself, and I like it that way.
When I was preparing for a ministry trip in Ohio a few months ago, I purchased a fancy new clicker that had a longer range and some additional bells and whistles. I couldn’t wait to use it for the first time, and I shared my excitement with the church where I was preaching.
“This will be the first time I use my new PowerPoint clicker,” I told them with pride. “I love these clickers, because they allow me to be in complete control. It’s so cool not having to wait for the slides to move and not having to rely on anyone else.”
But when I pushed the button on my new clicker, nothing happened. The slides wouldn’t advance. Something was wrong with my beautiful clicker, and I had absolutely no ability to change what was on the screen.
But of course, I’m always looking for a “prop” to illustrate my messages, so I didn’t miss a beat.
“Well, I guess my defective clicker is a parable about life,” I said sheepishly. “We all like to think we’re in control of the events in our lives, but control is just an illusion. Only God is fully in control, and we must patiently submit to His sovereignty.”
Since then, I’ve concluded there are some things we can learn when our “clicker” goes bad and we can’t change the slide on the screen.
Although I’ve never thought of myself as a control freak, the defective clicker revealed how much I’ve been seduced by a misguided pursuit of control. It also exposed my dysfunctional quest for self-reliance, never wanting to feel dependent on anyone else. The Bible says God created us to live in community and cooperation, mutually dependent on one another to fulfill His purposes (1 Corinthians 12). Yet that is hard for independent folks like me.
Perhaps, like me, you’re more of a control freak than you’d like to admit. If so, I encourage you to buy a PowerPoint clicker—but make sure it’s one that works.
With a functional clicker, you’ll be able to move your slides forward and backward to your heart’s delight. You can even use the included laser pointer to emphasize what you’re trying to say. I’m sure people will be impressed!
However, let me warn you against false expectations. You still won’t be able to control your spouse, your kids, your boss, the weather, the stock market, or most other circumstances in your life.
But you still might find the clicker helpful. Even if you’re unable to control anything else in your life, you hopefully can at least move your PowerPoint slides.