Mopping the Ocean

Hello, my name is Anna and I feel the need to always be in control. I need to find a group of controllers’ anonymous. You see, I am the oldest of four children and, by nature (and somewhat nurture), I feel the need to be in control of most all situations. I most definitely suffer from Eldest Child Syndrome. According to Everyday Health, “Firstborn children are thrust into a leadership role from the time they gain a younger sibling. That spells decades of at-home leadership experience, which, at times, could be plain bossiness. They like to be in charge. A few firstborns will have trouble delegating; they will not trust others to do the job well enough.”

I am in that “few firstborns” that have trouble delegating and don’t trust in others to do the job well enough. I always hated group projects in school. Not because I didn’t like the socialization, it’s because I didn’t trust the project to be done properly. When I handle it all myself, I know everything will be turned in on time, everything will be researched properly, and I will be more confident in the finished product. You see, I have a major problem with control.

So, what happens when you are faced with a situation in which you have no control? You can see what is happening and you know good and well that it would be better if they would just do it your way. But it’s not your problem to handle. They didn’t ask for your help or advice. Do you jump in and start bossing people around and handle it your way or, do you step back and allow people to handle things their way? You see, in my vast experience (and it is vast), when you try to control something that is none of your business, it always turns out badly.

Trying to control things that you can’t looks like someone trying to mop up the ocean. As silly and impossible as that sounds, that is exactly what always being in control looks like. My last article focused on worry and when we worry, we are saying to the world that we don’t fully trust in God’s promises for us. Always trying to be in control of your life and others also is very dangerous. God has told us that he has great plans for us. We must trust in him to help and guide us on our path in life. Sometimes that means that we are not in control.

We sometimes don’t know what to expect next in our lives. For me, this has proven extremely difficult. I do not like surprises, I do not like not knowing what is coming. You can ask my husband, before any trip I do research on everything. I want to know where we are eating, where we are going, which is the best road to take. I even start two weeks before we leave making a packing list down to what outfit and jewelry I am wearing each day. My husband just throws stuff in a bag and is happy as a clam. He doesn’t worry about any of that nonsense.

Feeling out of control makes me nervous and anxious. When I start feeling this way, I must trust in the promise of God of direction. God promises to direct our steps. You see, always being in control and worry are cousins. One piggy-backs off the other. I wrote about worry last week because it is a part of my life that I have to constantly work on and so is control. My husband has helped me relax and realize that I don’t have to have my hand on every project. Does he still have to talk me off the control ledge? Yes, at least once a week. Am I better than I was? Oh, yes!

Realizing that God is actually in control of your life and that you are his servant is very humbling, but necessary if you want to live a life of peace and faith. Trust in the Lord today, cast your care and burdens on him, and he will direct your paths.

“The Lord himself goes before you and will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8

This week’s recipe helps take the worry out of supper. You just pop everything into a slow-cooker in the morning, come home after a long day of work, and enjoy. I sure hope you enjoy it as much as we do!