Out of Control
I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting on the idea that I truly have little control over much of my life, and that this might not be such a bad thing. Look, I’m Type A and I know it. This isn’t an easy subject of reflection for me.
I suppose I should clarify. As a religious zealot (or “nutjob” – whichever works best for you to describe someone fully devoted to faith), part of this reflection comes from how I’m digesting a number of sermons, private moments with Scripture, etc. However, I don’t want to give you the impression that I’m ceding my responsibilities. In fact, it’s so contrary to my nature that my bigger issue is feeling like it’s okay to allow God to be in control of things.
Let me give you some real-life examples. I’ve lost or almost lost a few people I care about in the last year. Nothing like an examination of one’s own mortality to bring the issue of control into light. On top of that, I’ve been interacting with a group of individuals dedicated to homeopathic remedies and wondering how their concept of “God made the body to be healthy if you just do everything right” and the reality of God truly being the numberer of our days fits together.
I’ve also had the opportunity to lose a few relationships (or see them slipping away) while gaining new relationships this year. I am truly realizing how little control I have over the maintenance of those relationships. Sure, I have my part, but the reality is that I can’t force an individual to be my friend any more than I could in high school (where I was dismally pathetic at it, I might add), and the slipping away of a relationship isn’ t always based on what I do or don’t do.
Of major significance to me has been my understanding of my total inability to control my career. I’ve always believed that as long as I’m working hard, giving my best, that this would be sufficient to ensure me not only a continuing place, but a perpetual career path. What I’ve learned this year is that it isn’t always about what I do or how hard I work. And in terms of work relationships, well, they’re even more evasive than personal ones…
So, I’ve had two thoughts on this subject:
- Most importantly: If I can truly grasp and embody the idea that God is in control and has my spiritual best interest at heart (which doesn’t always mean the granting of all my wishes and desires in this life), maybe I could let go of all of the anxieties and cares and just be. It doesn’t mean I don’t work hard at what God puts before. However, it does mean that whatever God takes away, I can still say “Blessed be the name of the Lord” and consider the change with a wonder at what God is working out in his development of me.
- More questioningly: Can a leader lead from an open-handed position? Can one lead and not “need” to be in control? Maybe not in this generation, but in the generation to come – as we define what leadership looks like for ourselves – I truly hope so.
Imagine the total freedom of being able to give your all without needing your all to force everything to happen. Imagine getting to work hard and then enjoy the ride, come what may.
I need a 12-step program on letting go.