Losing “Control” in Philly


How much of your life are you going to spend trying to achieve something that’s unachievable?

If you like to know what’s coming your way or if you get frazzled when situations don’t go as planned, then you might have a problem with control.

If you spend your days trying to change the people around you, or playing the victim, then you might have a problem with control.

If you like to tell God what to do in your prayers at night, then you might have a problem with control.

If you think your ideas are the best ideas or the only ideas that will work, then you might have a problem with control.

Here’s the problem with control…

Control is an illusion.

The only thing you have control over is the way YOU respond to life. That’s it. You have control over YOU.

You don’t have control over your situation in life. You can’t control how the people around you act. You can’t control the future. You can’t save up enough money to be safe. You can’t build up enough walls to keep from being hurt. You can’t bargain with God to get your way. You can’t choose how long you get to live.

We are small. We are independent. We are free.

You do you. Let God have control of the rest.

The Problem with “Control” as a Christian

When we act like we can handle our lives, or when we’re in control of our situation, then we act like we are our own gods. But are you qualified?

Personally, I wish I would stop pretending to be a god. I wish I would stop telling God to leave me alone. I wish I would realize that I’m not enough. But, I am just like you. I fool myself into believing my own bravado.

But, that’s all it is. It’s just bravado.

With my limited understanding and my limited perspective, I really shouldn’t be the one in control. In fact, when I try to be the one in control, usually I just end up making an even bigger mess than I started with.

Don’t forget to let go.

Some of the best things have happened to me when I let go of my imaginary control. As I passed by a Baptist church in Philly, I was talking to Andrew about my perceptions of the Baptist theology. He’s never been to a Baptist church, so I was trying to describe it to him. In high school, I had some friends who were Baptist and I remembered struggling to understand why it mattered so much to them that I would “be saved.”  I felt like God had always been there for me. Why did I need to have “a moment?” Why did I need to “be saved?”

But now that I’m older, I think being saved is just another way of saying “surrendering.”

I’ve had several “surrender” moments.

I “surrendered”my illusion of control when I agreed to move out to the East Coast.

I still don’t know all the reasons why I’m here. But, I’m four months in and starting to see some of the tapestry I’ve been weaving. It’s pretty cool. Looking back, I can start to see how God’s been planning something good for me all along.

Sure, I had to leave my great job with the patients and co-workers I loved. I moved out of my cute little apartment. I ended my relationship. I said goodbye to my family and friends. I left everything for something unknown. But, I knew it was okay because it wasn’t me in control. Trust me, if I was in control, I would have never left.

But, I did leave. And while there have been some challenging parts, overall I am so happy out here.

I’ve made great friends. I have a good job. I’m living with a wonderful family who has become my home away from home. I met Andrew – who is really great. I’m experiencing things I’ve never had the chance to experience. It’s okay. Everything is okay. Actually it’s better than okay.

Control is overrated. In fact, it’s not even a real thing. At least, not for you or I…

What would you be doing with your life if you let God have control?

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