This post is written to link with Five Minute Friday– write for five minutes on a one word prompt. Today the prompt is “control” (and ironically I must confess that my control of time was very poor today and this took me significantly longer than five minutes!)
Control is just an illusion.
The problem is that it is sneaky. It presents itself to us as something real and something appealing: if we can be in control we can order our lives, we can fulfil our dreams, we can take charge of our destinies.
We long for control and we seek to be in control, but just when we think we’ve achieved control, we realise something is controlling us.
An attempt to control painful memories by numbing them becomes an addiction. A diet to control weight and health goes too far and becomes an eating disorder. A pattern of controlling difficult emotions by ignoring them and bottling them up becomes a habit that is hard to break.
As I said, control is sneaky. It can take even good things, even godly things, and use them against us. Like using Bible verses to control our feelings by preaching to them, instead of first acknowledging them and dealing with them in a healthy way. Like trying to persuade others to do what we want with words like “God told me,” or “God has really put this on my heart,” making it difficult for them to refuse. Like thinking we can control God or how he will act in a situation- thinking if I just pray more, or read the Bible more or do these good things, surely God will answer my prayer as I want him to.
What if we just admitted we’re not in control? If we realised that, while there are certain choices we can make, no matter how carefully we plan, the unexpected can happen? What if we realised that our control over other people or situations is limited and that we are primarily called to self- control, and even then, only by the power of the Holy Spirit?
What if we realised that, despite control’s sneaky tactics, all we are seeking is not found in control, but in surrender, and that the answer is found in giving up control to God, allowing him to be in charge of our lives and seeking security and peace in him, rather than in controlling every detail?