It’s a lie, and I bought it. I knew better, yet I still did it. A long time ago, when I was in therapy trying to handle the aftermath of my ex-husband’s abuse, my counselor gave me the wisest counsel. I cannot control anything in this life, except my reactions.
How easy it is to forget. I posted last week that over planning and over preparing create their own sources of agony, (The Agony of Planning Too Far Ahead). This week, during my meditations, I realized the other half. All the planning and preparing are a manifestation of my attempts at control. If I plan enough and work hard enough for every intimate detail, I will control my life.
But I have no control. I can’t prepare or plan for every contingency. I. Can’t. But, I think I can, and that’s the lie.
I have always left the big things in God’s hands, but recently I have tried to control all the little ones, dutifully listed on reams of paper.
Like an alcoholic at an AA meeting, I must admit I am a control freak and take honest steps to stop.
After all, who really has control? God.
How did I move from total trust in him to giving him only the big stuff? Isn’t he concerned about the small things too? The Bible has numerous stories of God taking care of the little details as well as the big picture. And really, if I miss one task on my list of household chores, what is the worst thing that would happen? I’d do it another day. Gasp!
Would that make me a bad housekeeper, or a bad person? Would the world end? Really?
How easy it is to allow The Lie to control my thoughts and actions.
My new goal is to follow my husband’s example and be a bit more spontaneous, allow a certain amount of uncertainty to exist — and not fight it. After all, it will exist regardless of what I do anyway, so why struggle?
I’ve learned this lesson once before. Will it stick this time, or will I fall back into the lie, giving into the urge to over plan and over prepare for every possible contingency?
I hope not. I pray not.
I can overcome this, as long as I remember to trust God, and not myself. After all, with God all things are possible, even a life filled with more spontaneity, and as a result, more joy.