Are you ready to give up control?

As we step together into a brand new year, permit me to provoke you with some brief thoughts about the myth of control.

I wonder if it’s fair to say that all of us go through our lives – consciously or subconsciously – trying to control our world.

We know that life is hard sometimes, and yet who wants a hard life?
And so, motivated by fear and doubt we seek to control our world.
The fear of what might happen.
The doubt that God is good.
We naively think – “If I can control this circumstance or this person, then everything will be ok.”

In reality, self-confidence is often arrogance and pride wrapped up in disguise.

Control is a myth. We never have full control over anything – or anyone. We struggle to even control ourselves.

Now all this might sound very negative but, in truth, it’s wonderfully liberating. The sooner we admit we cannot control our world, the sooner we learn to lean into God’s grace and goodness. Not in the sense that we expect God to fix it for us – but we recognize that whatever happens to us – God has a deeper agenda. God’s priority is US. CHANGING US.

Someone once said “God isn’t at work producing the circumstances you want. God is at work in the circumstances producing the you HE wants.”

God uses trouble to expose our weaknesses. Firstly, the weakness of our circumstances – the things outside of us that we have become too dependent on. Secondly, the weakness of our character – the things inside of us that we have become too dependent on.

If only we truly believed and lived the cliché ‘Let God be God’. And yet too often those words are just empty, hollow, triumphalism because we don’t want God to be God at all. We want to be god. We want to control our destiny.

To release control is to make yourself vulnerable – to others and to God. To admit that you are too broken and self-centred to ultimately control your destiny. Brene Brown reminds us that embracing vulnerability means embracing “uncertainty, risk and emotional exposure. It sounds like truth and feels like courage – but it’s never weakness.”

Maybe we should hijack the words of Elsa from Frozen as we consider a better response to control…

Let it go, let it go
And I’ll rise like the break of dawn
Let it go, let it go
That perfect girl is gone!

Here I stand
In the light of day
Let the storm rage on,
The cold never bothered me anyway!
When Jesus is walking with me *

*ok, I added that last line 🙂 – don’t tell Disney, I couldn’t afford the lawsuit!

May God help us to commit afresh to take responsibility for what we should, to give those things our very best, but in all things stay surrendered to the One who loves us more thoroughly than we can ever imagine.