Control and Life: An Incompatible Pair Pt.2 – ( to read pt.1 click here)
A few weeks back I had this light bulb moment that control and life were incompatible and for the first time, I could see why I was so frustrated. For me, I struggle with control mostly at my home. I am not a perfectionist, but I do like order. I used to be much more laid back but with 6 people living in a 2100 sq ft. home, someone has to keep be on top of things or we would be living in complete squaller in 1.5 days.
My children go in and out of the house, tracking dirt. They invite friends in to play dress up, which makes my house look like it threw up a costume store. They take their shoes and socks off starting at the front door, down the hall, into the kitchen and out the back door. They do their living, eating, and schooling here. They are learning about life in OUR house and I am helping to design their childhood and prepare them for adulthood.
I want my family to feel comfortable in THIER house, yet I wasn’t comfortable. I was trying to figure out how to be unstressed yet uphold a quality of life at least one step above squaller. (Like I said, I’m no perfectionist.) No matter how I wielded my parental power, or organizational strategies, I couldn’t quite achieve that satisfaction of perfection. I just wanted them to do exactly as they were told, 100% of the time. I laugh because when I write it out it seems absolutely crazy but it’s true.
In my last blog, I described control as a bubble that we build around ourselves as a way to protect ourselves, yet it tends to shut us off from life. But if control is like a bubble, then life is like… the WIND. It cannot be caught or contained and it cannot be controlled.
Life, very much like the wind, can range from calm to hurricane force in moments. It can be so gentle at times to our perfectly crafted bubbles and playfully blow us up and down, showing off their iridescent glean. “How wonderful, this is totally working!!” But what happens when the wind picks up? What happens when the unexpected happens? It takes what little control we have and POP we once again feel exposed.
Burst My Bubble
I hate to burst my own bubble, but I realized that the problem wasn’t my playful children or crazy life. The problem was that I was trying to tame something that God created beautifully wild and free. I bought into the lie that I require predictability while God created me for adventure and dependence on him.
I will be misunderstood, I will have needs, I will have a messy house and I need to respond to those things in a biblical way. Instead of preventing problems, I need to learn from them. Instead of perfecting people, I need to love them and instead of protecting myself I need to live unafraid.
So, if control and life don’t mix how do we cope? We have to manage life somehow?
Be a tree! Trees are not only compatible but they NEED wind. Trees need wind to blow against them because it causes their root systems to grow deeper, which supports the tree as it grows taller. Trees are stable, sturdy and strong, but that is because of their response to wind. Trees are flexible, they bend and sway gracefully when the wind blows against them. They do not stand rigid, resisting the movement nor do they push back. The tree was designed to withstand strong wind and in return it will grow.
Yes, how the enemy wants to distract us with our discomforts, because it is through them that we grow and are strengthened. I am not a bubble blower, I am an oak of righteousness. A tree that loves the thrill of the wind, because I trust God. I know he has me no matter what. I am grounded, rooted in Him and flexible to withstand the uncontrollable forces of life through Him. I don’t need to control because God is in control. The cool thing is, even when I am trying to control.. He is STILL the one in control. Thank goodness!!!
………that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified. Isaiah 61:3
And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. Colossians 2:6
Here I am taking my own advice:
Response: The next time you feel the need to control, dig a little deeper and try to figure out what is bothering you. Tell God that you trust Him and rethink your next move.