21 Jan The Myth of Control: Part 2
If I had heard Pastor Ben’s sermon, the The Myth of Tomorrow, ten years ago and actually applied it, I might have been saved a lot of unnecessary freak outs. I know all about making plans without consulting God. In fact, in my early adulthood, I told God that I was not asking Him what to do. I had a plan and I was going to make it happen. That went swimmingly.
Just so you fully understand how desperately I clung to control, I’ll tell you a story:
Once, when we were in college, the man who is now my husband asked me to take a ride with him to an auto shop in a town an hour away. He needed to pick up a special part for his Mustang. I mentally scheduled this in and planned to go with him. It was a nice ride. We, as always, enjoyed the conversation and the quiet comfort that rested between us.
We arrived. He ran in and picked up what he needed. When he got back in the car, he looked at me and said, “Hey, do you just want to go downtown? I’ve heard they have a great shopping area and really good places to eat.”
Panic set in. What did he mean go downtown? Why would we do that? We hadn’t planned on it. I nervously asked, “Well, do you know how to get there?”
“No, but I can run in and ask for directions.” (This was before smart phones and insta-maps.)
I rolled it around in my head for a minute. He started getting annoyed. The thought of doing something unknown, something we hadn’t planned for was too much for my control-freak planning nature. He put the car in drive and took me back to my dorm. I am still amazed that, after that, he married me anyway.
The bottom line is: I clung to my plans because I yearned for control. Life itself and the gentle nudging of the Holy Spirit have nearly pried open my fingers that hold tightly to control. Marriage, a few career changes, multiple cross-country moves, two miscarriages, and three healthy babies later, I see that there is freedom in letting go of control. There is freedom because I am no longer in charge of making it all go well. Good thing, because it seems as though every plan I have made without the consultation of God has gone terribly wrong. And sometimes things just go wrong – no reason, no explanation – things, people, government, jobs, the list goes on. Stuff fails. Not God, though. So, when I acknowledge that He is in control and I am not, something shifts. I am free.
Editor’s note: In case you missed it, here’s “Part 1” on this topic.