"Put the ipod down."
Familiar refrain between my 9 year old and myself lately.
"Time's up. Give me the gadget."
And he does.
Ever so slowly.
Making sure to move in sloooooow moooootion.
He hands it toward me....
And pulls it back.
"I just want to log-out."
He moves it in my direction again....
And pulls it back.
"I just need to make sure I set my alarm."
The ipod comes toward me....
And he pulls it back.
"What time did it say again?"
Kid likes his gadget.
Kid likes to be in charge of how much time he gets with said gadget.
Kid likes to retain control of things.
I get it.
Do I get it.
There might possibly maybe potentially be a bit of a familial control issue here.
When I was struggling to regain a semblance of footing in my life following the tornado,
I realized that a huge part of my problem was
(as sad as this sounds and all kidding aside)
that my calendar had been blown to a neighboring town.
(Actually....I found a few pages of it. May and August, I think)
I was sure that once I had all of my "life" written down on a new calendar then
my memory would return and
my orderliness would return and
my organization would return and
some normalcy would return.
My mom found me some random calendar she'd received from some random real estate company and I
flat went to it.
I called people to find out birthdays and anniversaries...
I recorded kid activities....
I penciled and penned in appointments....
I filled as many of those little squares as I could.
For a few days.
Then I accidentally buried it under mounds of insurance papers and couldn't find it for a week and realized that chaos was apparently going to reign for a while yet.
I wanted to be back in control.
I wanted to be in charge.
I LIKE that.
Now I don't necessarily want to RUN every event my family is a part of....
But I DO prefer knowing the details of the event and
where we are supposed to be
at what time
and what our responsibilities entail
and who is riding with who to get there.
I like order.
I like definite.
In this season of my life,
I try to make some sort of plan in my head for how things are going to go.
It usually not how I want them to go for my personal pleasure...
It's more like: how-they-should-go-so-that-the-other-4-people-in-my-life-can-all-do-what-they-want-and-get-where-they-need-to-be-to-keep-everyone-happy-and-punctual-and-fulfilled.
I'm a logistical orderly people pleasing planning psycho.
(Put that on a resume´!)
When situations arise that thwart my plans....
I get irritated.
And that snapping thing?
It never really helps.
My 13 year old has started making his own plans on his own phone.
That's how it should be.
(Granted....since I'm the driver and custodian...I should probably be made aware of these plans before they're confirmed....but it's good he's taking initiative like that.)
I've found myself gritting my teeth today when he told me he made plans with his grandfather.
I love him spending time with his grandfather....don't get me wrong.
It's just that....
I had already made a plan for the day.
And it included my eldest.
And now he's not going.
And he's doing something he likes better.
And it's an awesome opportunity for him.
And it won't really affect the other two if he's not there....
But it wasn't how I pictured it.
And I don't know when they are going and when they'll return and where I should be and how I will meet up with them...and I don't like not having knowledge of the details.
My control....slipped down a cell phone shaped drain.
This control-desire is in other areas of my life, too.
I have people in my life whom I love very very much.
They don't have much of a relationship with God.
They certainly don't believe that Jesus loves them.
They don't really even believe that Jesus is God's son.
This eats eats eats at me.
Not so much because I can't convince them....
But because I see so many of them struggling with the idea.
And they are good people.
And they do so so so much for others.
They sacrificially love people.
And I know that God said good works is nothing without faith....
And I know that He loves them even more than me...
And I know He's given each person free will to make choices...
And I want God to crack open their hardened hearts with a big giant sledge hammer and rip the blinders from their eyes and let them see the truth.
I am apparently not in charge of those situations either.
Sometimes I find myself irritated.
It's hard for me to pray sometimes.
Or read my Bible more deeply than looking at the ink.
I feel distanced from God....
and it's hard to find my way closer.
And I have begun to realize that my desire.....
for control is a big part of the problem.
When "life" changes my carefully laid plans....
I don't look at the interruptions as "blessings"...but as hurdles.
Because I didn't plan them?
When I think about "my people" who don't know God and won't experience life forever with Him...
I accept, but I don't really comprehend.
Or maybe I am just too sad.
And because it's so hard to understand....I push away.
And while I know that these two situations are WAY different in many ways....
I have also realized that they have similar roots.
I can't understand.
I can't control.
These are the facts.
I simply simply can't.
And sometimes, when I honestly realize that truth...
I mean TRULY accept it....
There's some peace.
A little weird?
Yeah. I know.
Here's the deal.
I know that God is big.
And He knows everything.
He knows the big picture.
If I knew what He knows....then I would understand and agree that all the things that happen are really ok.
That, in the end, all these things will bring glory to Him.
I certainly do NOT understand how.
I confess...I have moments I doubt how it can happen.
But....I believe it will.
1 Corinthians 2:16 says:
For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?
If I could understand everything about God....then would He really be big and amazing and wonderful enough for me to worship?
Isaiah 55:8-9 reads:
For My thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not My ways...For as heaven is higher than earth, so My ways are higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.
If I always knew what was best for myself (and all the people in my life)....and I knew the perfect paths for all people to follow, then what would I need God for anyway?
So....I give Him control.
And there is peace in that.
But....I tend to snatch that pretty parcel of control back up.
Then I give it back.
Then I grab it again.
And even again.
I simply have to open my hands,
Hold them out with my palms up,
And ask Him to take away my control.
Take this day, God.
Use it for Your own.
Let me embrace and be thankful for opportunities that arise.
Help me find the appointments You have made for me.
Remind me again and again that Your ways are not always the ones I would choose.
Thank you for saving me from my wrong choices.
Thank you for being so much bigger and wiser and kinder than I can imagine.
Let me remember that You are directing my paths....
And help me not fight against that direction.
Remind me that the details are not usually salvational.
Show me Your way...
And help me keep my hands wide open,
Letting go of my attempts at control
And giving them to You.
Let my open hands receive the gift of peace You have for me....
And hold on to that tightly.