It is fairly safe to say that I am in high-strung recovery. Because I know I have a problem and I am a working on not being so high strung, I refer to this as being in recovery. It is an inside battle that I am fighting. Albeit, slowly. See, I am a worry-wart, I dislike the feeling of not having control over a situation, and, although it is a joke within my family, I really am sensitive.
So why am I telling you all of this? Because I want you to know that I understand how hard it is to relinquish control and let someone else lead. And why would I let someone else lead? Because there is someone who knows me so much better than I…
God. And, I have been called to follow him.
“A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” – Proverbs 16:9 (NKJV)
When we don’t give up control, we are, in a sense, God’s opponent. He is trying to do his work in our lives and we are fighting against him by trying to do our own work. We don’t see the whole picture — the whole universe and its ever-forming masterpiece. We are only privy to what is inside of our little bubble that we think we control. How can we lead when we can’t see where we are even going?!
Think about this: When you find yourself face to face in a battle with, say, for instance, your teenager, your spouse, your job, your neighbor, or even your pastor… what do you do? Do you fight the situation? Do you try to keep the upper hand? Do you try to control the environment with every ounce of persistence you have? Or, do you throw your hands in the air and walk away with your face down and your shoulders slumped? See, most people respond with either an uptight, all controlling mindset or a woe is me attitude.
You cannot control anyone. I think I should write that again, just in case. You cannot control anyone. Yes, that means you cannot control your kids, your spouse, your friends, your parents, your neighbors, your co-workers, your congregation… These individuals belong to God, not you. He created them, you did not. They are his. Get over it.
The world is big. In fact, it is HUGE. And there really isn’t anything you can do to control anything in it, no matter how good your intentions — You can’t change the weather, you can’t make sure that not a single soul goes hungry, and you cannot protect innocent children from being exposed to a fallen world. You just can’t.
So, what CAN you do? You can stop trying to control everything and, instead, focus that energy on sharing hope and love. Be an example for others. When times get rough and you want to kick and scream and fight for control, make sure you have God in the driver’s seat. (What a way to show by example to those around you, right?) Remember:
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28 (NIV)
You can be a child of God and still find yourself fighting for control — you are human and you have faults. Just know that when you realize that God has become an opponent, rather than your team captain, it is time to take a step back and re-center yourself.
God is all-knowing. He knows where we are going, what our purpose is, and what the next, strategically-planned, move is. Let HIM make your move.