Who’s in Control Here Anyway?

Control.

noun: the power to influence or direct people’s behavior or the course of events.

verb: determine the behavior or supervise the running of.

I have always had a huge sense of responsibility! It started in utero, I imagine, as there is incontrovertible evidence that I have the genetic marker for “control freak.” And I say that as a matter of fact and certainly not a criticism of those I love most!

It seems easy enough to take control as we go through life — we set a schedule, make a plan, go about living our lives. Things generally roll along, though sometimes we encounter bumps, maybe roadblocks, perhaps even a mountain or two. But through it all we keep control! We update our list. We mark the calendar. We follow-up. We plan. We adjust. But still . . . we cling to control.

God’s been doing some pretty deep and hard work in this 60-year old, lifelong control freak lately! Oh my goodness! I mean deep! I mean hard! At first I fought it/Him. I clung more tightly to each circumstance, rewrote my list, updated my calendar with more detail, followed up more frequently. I made more/better plans. I adjusted. Until I couldn’t. Until I didn’t. Things came to a head and I was clearly, undeniably, apparently, and indisputably NOT in control any more! And it was terrifying! That old sense of responsibility kicked into overdrive, until it just ran off the rails!

It’s easy, I guess to shake our fists at God and blame Him for the out of control existence in which we find ourselves. And I honestly did some yelling and yes, in my arrogance, even chastised Him!

When we go into “crisis” mode, that old fight or flight instinct kicks in and boy did I fight! I forgot that the control was never really mine at all! God graciously allowed me to run, often with reckless abandon, along My path, on My journey, with My plan! I forgot that through it all HE is the Pathmaker. He is not only the destination, but also the way station along the path. He is the keeper and maker of the Plan. And His plan is so much more sound than any I could conceive. His final destination is more glorious than I could ever imagine deserving!

I’m not there yet. I only just realized the error of my ways in the past few days. I started noticing that each new little bump in the road no longer sent me into a tailspin or panic attack. And it sure isn’t because I’ve fine-tuned this whole control thing! It’s because I am ever so slowly, ever so warily, yielding to Him! It is so tough! 60 years is a long time to believe something so intrinsic and then wake up to the truth! It’s been a hard-won knowledge. It’s been a steep, craggy, precarious, uphill journey. But I’m getting there with a new sense of calm, and a new trust in Him and His plan. He’s refining me. And there’s a lot of “crud” to wear away and burn off. But He is Faithful! And persistent.

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