Control Freak

I keep a white board marker, or an old lip pencil handy to write words that I need to see on my bathroom mirror. Recently I wrote: “God is in control… Trust God.” And when I wrote it, I didn’t really know what that meant. I mean kind of. I wrote it, because there is too much going on today that I cannot control. And Although a lot of it is just wrong, I have very little chance of making much of an impact.

I live in a way that subtracts as many elements from my life as I can that I can’t control. For example, I have not watched news for more than 25 years, just shortly after I received my undergrad in Journalism. It is a product that is so far from anything that helps humans thrive. I believe the news media is damaging, and in fact dangerous, and is the reason for a lot of what is wrong with our country today. Even 25 years ago I saw that. So I subtracted it from my existence.

Instead, I choose to be involved in things that I can impact. People in my circle, for example. People who patronize whatever business I’m doing; people I see behind the counter at the grocery store; even people across the wires in my social media. I believe the world would be a better place if everyone followed my example.

So, by writing those words on my mirror: “God is in control,” I was seeking supernatural peace, and hope. But as a person who has an intense respect for the power of words, I knew it was important that I understand what that means, not just have words in my face every time I brushed my teeth.

So, true to God’s character, He gave me a lesson in what it looks like to allow Him to have my back.

The other day, I got a great taste of how unkind people can be when my husband and I showed compassion and love toward our neighbors, and they returned it with sarcasm and condescension. It was a horrible day with an outcome that, although I had no control over it, my mind would keep rehearsing what I should say, or should have said.

So God told me what it means to allow Him to be in control: Choose love.

That’s what it means to allow God to be in control. If my default is love, I am at peace. My husband and I chose love. And even though the neighbors crushed us, I would still do it again. Those words: “Choose love,” release me from anger and frustration. The neighbors can be mean and horrible people to me all they want, but they cannot penetrate God’s control. And I allow God to be in control when I choose love.

I’m not talking about forgiveness, although that’s a very important element. Imperative, in fact. I’m talking about love being the only reaction that is sustainable over the long term; that is the only armor capable of protecting a heart. I know it’s not going to get easier. In fact, I’m sure harder lessons are coming down the pike, so I’m asking God to bless my heart. I’m asking God to develop in me a soft, yet resilient heart. I’m asking Him to build my love armor so solid that callous people cannot pierce it. I’m asking Him to help me make the default action love.