I often ask myself and anyone who will listen (never with a hint of sarcasm), “How did we ever live without instant communication, instant results, and instant gratification?” As the world gets more technologically advanced, it grows smaller and more demanding. We are control freaks more than ever before. We have to have everything researched, organized, and planned out, and, of course, there’s an app for that. We can know details about practically anything just by asking Siri or Alexa. Is this a good restaurant? Will I like this movie? What’s the rating of this phone? We can find out if we’re pregnant in 30 seconds. We can have our DNA tested for any number of things, from ancestry to genetic defects, and have the results in a week.
I remember the days when you had to stand in one place and dial a rotary phone to make a call. If no one was home, you would have to wait and try again later. If you wanted information, you went to the library. Women had to go to the doctor to find out if they were pregnant and never knew the sex of the child — or anything else about it, for that matter — until the child was born. We mostly relied on word of mouth for recommendations for movies, restaurants, and the like. You just rolled the dice and took your chances … and somehow, we all survived!
The problem with having all of this at our fingertips is that we’ve forgotten how to be spontaneous. We’ve forgotten that life is full of twists and turns, and every good plan can fail. We end up with unrealistic expectations for how things will work out, which can lead to a lot of stress and disappointment.
When we remember that we are not in control, it opens us up for putting more of our trust in God. Proverbs 16:9 says, “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.” This verse reminds me of the saying, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” I know he doesn’t really laugh, but he knows so much better than I do what is best for my life. A lot of 12-step programs use the phrase “My best thinking is what got me here.” Even when I research, plan, and organize, if it isn’t in God’s will, it isn’t going to work out. If I trust him and remain open to his plans, I can have a closer relationship to him with a lot less stress. When I remember that God is in control, I have so much less to worry about!
When was the last time you did something spontaneous with no research, organization, or plan?
How did that feel? Was it fun or uncomfortable?
What can you do to let God have more control of your life?
Write down a couple of areas where you need to give up the illusion of control. Pray for God to help you let go and allow him to take over.
Father, thank you for taking such a great interest in me that you made a plan for my life before I was even born. Thank you for loving me so much that your plan is for good in my life. Help me to recognize that I have no control, to let go of the illusion of control, and to trust you to determine my steps. Amen.
This post was written by Kelda Strasbourg. Kelda is a grateful member of the LivingItOut writing team. She has a love for Jesus and desire to help others find that same love. She has her own business and a border collie named Emily.
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