The Spirit of the control freak

control freak 1

We are the ones with anxiety disorders
The ones with five year plans
We take ourselves very seriously
We are peacemakers, do-gooders, givers, savers…
We are on time
We are overly prepared, well read, and witty
We pride ourselves on getting as little sleep as possible
And thrive on self-deprivation
We are relentless
Judgmental with ourselves
And forgiving to others
We are the daughters of the feminists who said:
“You can be anything”
And we heard:
“You have to be everything”

My best friend sent this to me recently and I could identify with all of it.  I smiled and nodded and laughed in that weird awkward way we do when we know something so accurately describes us that it’s just scary.  And then I read it again and felt my heart sink to my stomach.  This just makes me sad now.  In this simple description of an unnamed people I see positive, powerful ideals that I want to attain to.  But I also see a shaded vulnerability and a fear of never being enough.

I am control freak.  I claimed the title long ago and I’m ok with it.  I know that I lead because I want to know the process and outcome.  I plan ten years ahead.  I get frustrated when a new idea or plan is sprung on me.  I don’t do spontaneous.  I do control.  To me, the end justifies the means, and so I plan the end in order to arrange the means perfectly.  I don’t do unplanned – it throws me!control freak 2

Which is why, when I read 1 Corinthians the other day, I felt so much relief.  See, as a control freak, mysteries are annoying.  Yes, I like gifts and the mystery of what’s inside, but I hate events or circumstances that are a mystery.  This is one reason I can’t understand people who don’t believe in God – how do they survive not knowing why or how or when or who…  Life is HUGE mystery to most, but it’s made quite clear to us that God has revealed the mystery.  We’re not in the dark anymore!  Hallelujah!  And how do we know what we know?  Well, take a look for yourself at 1 Corinthians 2:10 (and you can be in control of this discussion for a while): “But God has revealed it to us by His Spirit…”

It really is wonderful to me to know that what I need to know is all there – it’s all laid out in front of me if I just let the Spirit of God open my eyes.  I wonder how often I miss stuff because I’m squinting so hard my world goes blurry.  I guess in that regard, the Spirit is like glasses – suddenly everything is a whole lot clearer!

But on top of the comfort of knowing that not only has God got it under control, but he’s also allowed me to have some control and to see the bigger plan, there is also the comfort of knowing that I am enough.

Remember how I spoke about being freakishly controlling as being secretly insecure? Well, God deals with that too.  1 Corinthians 2:15 says “The Spiritual man makes judgements about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man’s judgement…”  That whole insecurity thing comes from trying to seem enough to other people.  We’re so desperate for the affirmation of those around us that we forget that God affirmed us long ago – when he MADE us!

And I totally understand that when people are looking at you like last months tuna mayo sandwich, it’s kind of hard to remember that God is looking at you with love.  But again, maybe it’s time we insecure control freaks took hold of the gift of the Spirit and used some discernment in our thoughts.

The whole passage ends with “But we have the mind of Christ”.  I could sit and read that line for ages!  We are so incredibly undeserving.  It’s actually insane!  I’m being serious, if you’ve made it this far through this post, take a moment to stop and consider the immensity of what those seven words are saying.

Did you stop?

No!

I said stop.

Ok… I guess I can’t really make you, but I tried.

All I’m really saying here, I guess, is that it’s ok to be a little controlling.  It’s ok to be me and to want to know what’s happening and to control certain areas of life (after all, when I bake a cake, I need to control a whole lot of aspects!)  But I’m also saying that it’s about time I give that control over to God and trust the Holy Spirit to control and to comfort.  This world is not enough.  God is.

Sorry this one turned into more of a Bible Study, but that’s what was on my heart.

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