This post contains spoilers for Godzilla (2014)

“The arrogance of men is thinking nature is in their control and not the other way around. Let them fight.”

– Dr. Ichiro Serizawa

Have you ever struggled to control something? I know I have. Time and time again, I’ve worked to make sure I’d get the outcome I wanted in any given situation.

I’d manipulate people in an effort to make whatever I wanted to happen happen or gather information to gain leverage. After all, “knowledge is power,” is it not?

I was good at it too.

“Who you calling fat?”

In some ways, the way I lived my life was the same way humanity was trying to save theirs in the latest Godzilla movie.

Having never seen another Godzilla movie before (I know… gasp), I was really surprised to find that the titicular character was going to be the hero of this story. Instead of facing off against Godzilla, humanity faces two MUTOs (or Massive Unidentified Terrestrial Organisms), trying in vain to stop these creatures from destroying the world they’ve created. And when their first attempt fails, they try again. And again. And again.

But they can’t control these beasts. Everything they have is useless against them.

In fact, every time humanity tries to assert control, they ultimately end up with a worse situation than before – like having to disarm a nuclear bomb they initially armed to attack the beasts only to lose control of it, thus requiring them to regain control of it just to disarm it. Or what about when they knew the MUTOs emitted electromagnetic pulses that disabled all electronic equipment in a large radius, but still decided to attack them with every form of electronic transportation they owned?

You see how the humans’ struggle to let go of control made each situation more complicated? So why wouldn’t they just let go? What made them try time and time again?

The funny thing is, I’m not so different from them. For 20-some years, I kept at it in vain, constantly having something outside of my control – something I ultimately couldn’t control – come along and knock the world off it’s orbit around me.

Time and time again, something would happen and I would feel control slipping from of my clenched fist, but arrogance made me dig in and continually kept me from seeing just how easy it is to lose control.

The filmmakers of Godzilla didn’t miss the opportunity to show us just how easy it is to lose control when they took us inside the quarantine zone that once was Janjira, Japan. 15 years had passed since society withdrew from the city following a major accident that started the movie, and the city had become desolate and overridden with vegetation. Buildings were crumbling as vines cracked through foundations. Moss and mold grew rampant as ceilings leaked with no one there to repair and maintain them.

Without humanity present, nature had taken back control of what once was its own.

So if control is something we can so easily lose and do so often, why is it so difficult for us to give up control?

Maybe it’s because when we give up control, we’re no longer in control. Could it be that simple?

Perhaps it does go a bit deeper than that and the problem results from our struggle to trust others rather than ourselves. We’ve all been let down at one point or another because someone didn’t follow through the way they promised, haven’t we?

Ken Watanabe as Dr. Ichiro Serizawa

What was it Dr. Serizawa said? “Let them fight.” He knew that this was a situation we couldn’t control, yet he also knew that there was something bigger in control to begin with, and he placed his trust in whatever that “something bigger” was. That’s why he could utter those words so decisively. Even though he may not have fully understood who or what was in control, he trusted in the bigger plan, a plan that he couldn’t fully see, understand or have control of, but a plan that would help save humanity.

While all the military forces bumbled around, he watched it play out as Godzilla did as he proposed: brought order back to chaos.

It wasn’t the efforts of any human that stopped the MUTOs. No, it was a creature seemingly as destructive as the initial problem that came to humanity’s rescue. A creature we had no control over, but that we could trust to save the day because it was part of some larger plan set forth long before we were born.

Letting go of control is hard. Trusting is harder. These are just a few representations of those fact, and while those facts may be difficult, sometimes, that’s simply what we have to do.

It doesn’t have to take an end-of-the-world scenario for us to realize it either. If we’re honest with ourselves, there are many times that we grip onto control when we should let go. We need to trust in others because we’re each a part of something greater.

We must recognize what we have control over (our own actions, our words, our thoughts) and focus on controlling those for the betterment of ourselves and others.

But, then – and more importantly – we must recognize what we don’t have control over. Let God worry about those things. Let the plan play out as it’s meant to. Trust enough to “let them fight.”

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