I planned each minute of every day, adhering to a strict schedule devoid of any spontaneity. I went as far as to begin each morning planning not just that day’s schedule, but contingency plans for every conceivable variation. Well, I tried. I was the teachers’ darling, the exemplary employee, the most responsible mom, a devoted wife — and I was miserable.
Jesus’ admonishment to be “converted, and become as little children” puzzled me. How could I be like a child when I was a responsible adult, carrying the world on my shoulders? I couldn’t just drop out. I had a husband and children to care for, a boss to obey.
Retirement removed most of my responsibilities, and yet I still kept up the paranoid plotting and planning, believing if I planned enough and worked hard enough, I could control everything in my life. It gave me a false sense of security. I had a deep faith, but I trusted my own strength first, only giving God the heavy stuff, when I felt backed into a corner.
When I recently re-read the passage from Matthew, I finally understood the message. All the needless planning and plotting created an old soul, weighed down by burdens God never intended that I should carry.
Yes, I can plan, but casually without going into every possible contingency. This revelation gave me a get-out-of-jail card. By relinquishing control, I became as a child, trusting a loving Father to consul me, as well as to supply my needs.
The old thought patterns still arise, but I shoo them away. I don’t want to be trapped in the old lie again. I doubt I need to worry about suddenly becoming an irresponsible or foolish senior. My sense of responsibility is far too ingrained for that, but I can certainly work harder to be a dependent, obedient child, accepting God’s guidance, freely and cheerfully performing the tasks he sets before me.
What is on today's agenda? Other than the usual basics, I haven't a clue...