Life is foggy, we can’t see more than one step in front of us, and a lot of times we can’t even see that next step. It’s hard to be at peace without a sense of control over things. And yet, are we capable of controlling things at all?
O Lord, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty;
Nor do I involve myself in great matters,
Or in things too difficult for me.
2 Surely I have composed and quieted my soul;
Like a weaned child rests against his mother,
My soul is like a weaned child within me.
3 O Israel, hope in the Lord
From this time forth and forever.(Psalm 131)
I have a friend who was following some people to a place, let’s say a Restaurant. She was in a completely unfamiliar area, back-woodsy, isolated and unfamiliar. The next thing she knew, they had gotten too far ahead, and she felt lost. She panicked for a minute, thinking they weren’t aware of her dropping back, but not too much time passed, and she found that they had pulled off, further up the Road, and were waiting for her. They hadn’t forgotten her, they were waiting for her, to lead her and keep her safe. Her panic was all for nothing. But I tell you what, she will trust these people much more quickly in the future, Why? Because she was able to count on them in that situation. God allowed her to be in a situation that was completely our of her control, so that she could learn to trust these fellow believers, just a little bit deeper, to take it to the next level, so to speak. God, in His mercy, does this with us often. The desire for control is innate, inbred, natural. But it is not always good. It can become a habit, and once it’s a habit, it can become an addiction.
One of the hardest habits to break is the desire for CONTROL. Life feels so random sometimes. Nothing seems settled, reliable, unshifting, the ground seems to move beneath our feet. It is so hard not to just get in there and try to make things work out the way we think they should be. Losing Control, or our desire for control, is one of the hardest Spiritual Disciplines to Master. We want God to show us all the Blueprints. But if He did, we’d just try to build it ourselves. He wants a living, working, trusting relationship with us. He wants us to Lose Control and trust in Him. The above Scripture is one that I pray often. One of the greatest lines in it says, “I do not involve myself in great matters, or in things too difficult for me.” There’s a balance to be struck between responsibility and control. Trusting God is the Turn-Key in the door to that balance.
The worst kind of control is when we try to control others. We manipulate, connive, scheme and guilt-trip people into doing what we want them to do. This is especially prevalent in marriages and in parenting. We try to control those we love, or claim to love. But is it really “loving” to control someone? Absolutely not. I have found that the Root for all desire to control things in my own life is “Fear.” And this particular kind of fear has to do with us “feeling safe.” Let’s face it, relationships are risky, none of us wants to be betrayed, abandoned , or hurt. But manipulating others, so that we can feel safe, is just plain selfish. And “News-flash,” it doesn’t work. The only remedy for our fear and, the need for safety, is found in Psalm 131, above. To compose and quiet our souls, to rest in our Savior and Lord, to not involve ourselves in things that are too great for us. In other words, to Trust God. The Only way to trust anyone, is to know them, to experience their faithfulness, like my friend earlier, who found that others were watching out for her. God is watching out for us. God is in Control, our call, is to Lose Control. We can trust Him on our Road of Life, He is watching over us…Always.