Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Who's In Control Around Here???

Shane at Heart Reflections is beginning a blog carnival called What's on Your Mind '09?. It is designed to challenge writers and encourage conversation, as we will be discussing various topics from week to week. And the question for today has really had me thinking.

How much of your life is in control by God and how much are you in control?
Now, there's the easy Christian answer - God is in control of everything and He will work out all the details perfectly.

God scores 100% control.

Then there's the I'm-a-selfish-control-freak answer - God can do what He will do. He can set things up to work out perfectly. But I have the freedom to choose what I will do, and He can't make me do a single thing.

Aha! Karen scores 100% control.

Anyone else see a problem with this equation?
God's 100% + Karen's 100% = Conflict 100%

One hundred percent conflict. That's really how it could be.
*God can open doors, but I can refuse to go through them.
*He can close doors, but I can spend all my time and energy trying to figure out how to open them myself.
*God's Spirit can prompt me to do and say things, but I can ignore these tugs on my heart and go about my (selfish) merry way.
*God can speak to me through His Word and clearly show me how I am to live but, again, I have the freedom and ability to walk in the opposite direction.

How do I know this equation so well?

Because I have lived it.

And in the living, I have also learned. I have learned God does know what He's doing, and His ways are best. Always.
Through exercising my own will contrary to God's, I have discovered what it means to live without peace.
God has used this state of 100% conflict to teach me about His patience and graciousness and unconditional love - as He has repeatedly demonstrated lessons for me, picked me up when I have fallen, and welcomed me back into His control no matter how far I've wandered.
But the best thing I have learned is how God and I can both be in control - without the conflict. I know His way is always best so I choose to submit my 100% to His. That is, I take the control I have and ask God how He wants me to exercise it. The submitting is rarely easy - I mean, I want what I want! - but it always results in peace, and it is always the best choice. Always.

So the answer to the question, Who's in control around here? That would be God. By design and by choice.

If you'd like to read others' thoughts on this control issue, pay Shane a visit!
Oh.my.word. It took me sooooo long to write this post, as God gave me opportunity upon opportunity to submit to His control. Some would simply call it a very long series of interruptions, but I have the keen sense God was speaking to my heart and asking me to say "No" to myself and "Yes" to others.
At any rate, I'm glad I got an early start on this post so I had the chance to complete it, and I pray God will bless you through the thoughts I've shared.

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luvmy4sons said...

Oh...the crux of the fall...the questions of mellenia...whos in contorl? And if God is than why are we judged? Oh...but that is another HUGE question for another day. The paradox of God's sovereignty and our ability to choose and our responsibility for those choices!

I was blessed by your musings...and laughed when I read about your interruptions...I just love our God who like the mother of a toddler who insists that he can put his own shoes on stands by and says "all right"...patiently waiting...Hugs to you!

Chatty Kelly said...

Thanks from a recovering control freak! :D

My ADHD Me said...

I wonder if God chuckles sometimes as he watches us try to control things ourselves and trip over our own feet.

We should be grateful that he doesn't have a great big "I TOLD YOU SO!!" banner!

Jerralea said...

Great post! It's so true ... it comes down to our choice ...

Thanks for sharing.

heartreflections said...

I too had such a hard time writing my control post. I really like your take on the subject... especially the score card.

I know I have spent a lot of my life recently here: "*He can close doors, but I can spend all my time and energy trying to figure out how to open them myself." I am thankful, though, that God is faithful and continues to heal our self-inflicted wounds.

Thanks for your insights,

Slowly Dying.. said...

You have released your control by posting this with your honesty. I feel the heart strings being tugged as well and choose to ignore them and I have "interruptions" as well but choose to take care of self most of the time. Thanks for releasing control today so that God could once again use you as another avenue to get thru to me! You're so awesome!!!


Jessica said...

Awww, those sweet interruptions. When I read this earlier today I laughed because I'd just finished replying to an e-mail which took me an hour because of all the times I had to stop and help/play/break up a fight with the toddlers. LOL But every moment with them is precious. Well, almoste every moment. Hehee

Great post! I was thinking about this last night regarding my marriage. It seems like women, including myself, always want to control our husbands. I don't know why but last night I remembered that it's important to place my relationships with others in God's hand and just love them unconditionally. Then this morning you post about it. Thanks for the reminder! You're so right when you say we can have peace by giving Him the control.
(btw, not saying anything bad about my hubby. He's wonderful and I'm blessed to have him.)

Becoming Me said...

I loved this, because like Kelly I am a recovering control freak. Thanks for sharing your advanced scientific methods with me.

Melissa said...

I have just realized this week why I have such a hard time praying for my (very troubled) brother, but no problem at all praying for most other things. It comes down to who is in control of my brother's life, and how much faith I have that God can help him change. I can pray for him all I want, but until his "want to" makes him want to not engage in destructive (to himself and our family) behaviors, will anything really change?

Lord, help my unbelief!

theresa162 said...

Karen this is so good. I loved the way you laid that all out.

This subject of control was a hard one to write about!! :)

KelliGirl said...

All the time you put into this post paid off. Very well done! I popped over from Shane's blog (where I linked up for this carnival too)...it's nice to meet you. :-)

I can really relate to what you wrote! Giving up control is SOOOO hard, but the rewards are worth it. God is good, and thankfully very patient.

Sandy Toes said...

I am so glad that God is in control..I can screw things up really fast!
-sandy toe