I am a massive control freak. It’s to the point where the majority of the time, I want to be the one who drives my friends (or we at least take my car so I can control the music), or I have to have control over the thermostat because I’m always freezing and (of course) I have the coldest room in the apartment. Control is my thing.
It’s not even so much that I like having the control most times (maybe just a little). But it’s mainly because I want to have the final say in what goes on in my life, ya know? Like I don’t want to be the person who leaves the house 20 minutes before I need to go to work because my job is 20 minutes away. What if the traffic is bad? What if there’s an accident? What if I forget something? Those are all things I can’t control. (Hence why I usually leave like 30 minutes before work instead of 20 because… life)
The Lord has really been dealing with me about this control thing, especially when it comes to things that are happening in my life. I’m only 22 but if I had it my way I’d be done having kids by 27 but I have no control over that. Especially since I’m very single. If I had it my way, I would be traveling the world leading worship for thousands of teenagers and young adults, but I’m a server at a chain restaurant and I have no direct control over that. If I had it my way, it would never be winter. Only fall, spring, and summer because I hate the cold. But I have no control over that. If I had it my way, Obama would have gotten a third term. But alas we got the complete opposite and I have no control over that.
I tend to think that Jonah must have been a bit of a control freak as well. Jonah was a prophet (ooh, 00h…VeggieTales anyone?) whom the Lord sent to tell the city of Nineveh to repent and turn back to God. Jonah fought God for a long time (don’t we all) and when he finally gave in, he delivers his message and then waited for Nineveh to go up in flames.
“When God saw what they had done and how they had put a stop to their evil ways, he changed his mind and did not carry out the destruction he had threatened. This change of plans greatly upset Jonah, and he became very angry. So he complained to the lord about it: ‘Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. Just kill me now, lord! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.'” (Jonah 3:10 – 4:3 NLT)
Jonah was being a tad dramatic. Nevertheless, his thinking is not far from ours. To me, Jonah was frustrated with God because he knew that God was going to be merciful anyway, so what was the point of him going all the way to Nineveh in the first place.
Like, God, what’s the point in living righteously if you’re going to show me mercy once I repent anyway? What’s the point of living for you if you’re going to love me regardless of how I live? What’s the point of reading my Bible and spending time with you if you aren’t going to let me have a say in what happens in my life? Why do I have to do all these super Christian things if you aren’t going to allow all the things that I want to do in my life?
I want to control everything that happens around me. But thanks to some amazing friends and an even more amazing God, I’ve come to learn that there are things that you cannot control and you just have to let go and deal with it. I can’t control that some people in Tulsa don’t know how to drive, so I will let it go. I can’t control that Donald Trump is our president-elect (Jesus help us) but I will let it go. I can’t control that I still depend on tips from people to pay my bills or that it’s actually getting cold outside, so I will let it go.
I cannot control much in my life (just my emotions and what I do with them). But I just so happen to be the daughter of the One who can. And my trust that He will take care of me is all that I need.