The truth about control is that as a person I desire it. I want to know that I have my hands firmly on the wheel of my car of life and I will get to my point of destination with no detours, no pot holes and no speed limits. I don’t want to contend with someone driving slowly in front of me nor do I want to look behind me to have someone rushing me either. I really don’t like it when someone cuts me off. Interestingly, I have a literal driving fashion on the city roads.
After putting my car of life in a few ditches, I am slowly coming to wonder why it is so many of us desire control. I have also come to wonder why others seemingly have no control in their lives at all. Then as I look around me in growing awareness there are yet others who seem to have their acts together. Whether there is chaos or serenity, they are peacefully moving through life without furrowed brow or clenched fist nor are they haphazardly weaving and bobbing through life. What are the differences between these three types of people?
By my view point, I can say that I desire control because I fear the outcomes. I have spent the better part of my life being called a control freak, anal retentive, organizationally happy to a fault and obsessive. I wanted to control every aspect of my life and if I didn’t know the outcome I would panic. I also fear failing. I wanted to succeed at everything I set out to do and if I thought I would fail I would step away from the endeavor. I organized my closets, my desks, my silverware and Tupperware; everything having a place and everything in its place, including people. I would get obsessive and adamant about controlling people, places and things. I was performing quite the juggling act.
Watching others who were self-professed control freaks, anal retentive, organizational junkies and obsessive, I noticed a similar trend in fears. They did not like the unknown aspects of life. They did not want anything less than absolute success. I still see these traits and I still feel them rear up in me when I am facing uncertainties. I still sometimes try to grab the wheel of the car of my life and steer matters in the direction I want to see them go. It depends on the circumstances, sometimes I am very aggressive about trying to steer and other times I am passive about my approach. However, I am learning the truth about who is really in control. I am learning there are times I am not meant to be steering my life’s car and there are times I am meant to be behind the wheel but I am not navigating. There is Someone in the seat next to me guiding me in my course.
When I look at those who are weaving and bobbing in and out of lanes, driving radically all over the place, I ask the same question. Who is in control? There is seemingly no method to their madness. There is seemingly no consistency in their performance and there is no accountability in their behaviors. It is very disconcerting to observe from the view point of a control freak to say the least. I have come to learn that often times these are the people who are fighting the devil off of their steering wheels of life. They are either addicted to something detrimental to their well being or they are fighting the battles of life and death, either literally or figuratively with the one who would sooner see mankind fall than see us triumph. I say this knowing that there came a point in my own life where my car was all over the place. The view I had through the windshield didn’t illuminate the ravine I was headed into. I was still clutching the wheel thinking I could rely on my own abilities to avoid any major pitfalls in life.
I would drive by many that had a smile on their face no matter the weather they were facing and regardless of the mountains that loomed before them. I saw them drive into valleys calmly without a bead of sweat on their brow or a lingering look of concern in their face. There was an inner peace in their eyes and a knowing in their words. I could not fathom what they had. I perceived their life’s car was simply a better model car and they were the lucky ones. They knew something, now I know. They knew they were not really the one’s driving. They were trusting that their journey, whether in the valleys or over the mountains was being driven or navigated by a force higher than themselves. They had Faith and they had Belief. I see these people now and know that I am a student still in the Divine Driver’s Education class. Thank God He’s teaching me how to drive.
There is little in this world we can control. We cannot control someone else’s behavior. We can only control how we react or respond to someone else. We cannot control life events. We can only control how we allow our attitudes about such events impact our abilities to deal and cope with them. We cannot control things but we can control our choices and engagements with things. We can only control ourselves. Ultimately God is in control of the rest. He demonstrated His control as I went plummeting off the ravine realizing I was sitting in front of a man at lunch one day last fall whom I had known over half of my life and I would not chose to be with him any longer. I had made that choice many times before, but could not get myself out of the situation. I could not face defeat and I could not face the outcome. I was realizing I was not in control and I was falling headlong into a bottomless pit I could no longer see my way out of. I had been driving downhill for years. I had been worn down, beat up and put up wet emotionally and physically. I didn’t have the energy to hold on to the wheel anymore… God stepped in and moved me out of the driver’s seat of control.
Letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace