On control and not having any.

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I never would have labeled myself a “control freak.” I’ll change plans at the drop of a hat, let someone else plan and handle all the details while I ride along, happy to simply be. I’ve been known to put my jeans back on to go out with friends after I was already snuggling in bed for the night.

But sometimes, real life gets way out of control. I didn’t have control over the presidential election when the candidate I voted for didn’t win, and I don’t have control of what the president-elect will do. I lost my job as an adjunct professor due to new federal regulations–can’t control that. I live in a world that, in many ways, is under the control of others, and their decisions don’t always make sense.

The fallback Christian answer–in the election season, in job woes, in relationships, etc.–is that “God is in control.” I’ve said it (and sung it) myself. I’ve heard so many people remind each other, “God is still God.” As if He can become something else.

But do I really believe that? With a dangerous man’s finger on the nuclear trigger and car and student loan bills coming in as fast as I can pay them off?

I’m not being rhetorical. I’m seriously asking. I don’t think I believe that enough to let Him have control of my life. I resist that with my whole fleshly being.

On the morning after the election, I woke up feeling like I was in a strange alternate universe where everything is wrong. A friend pointed me toward Psalm 23, and I was struck by the verbs in the psalm: he leads me. He guides me. He is with me.

I don’t understand the theological implications of the control God has in our lives, and I don’t necessarily want to. My finite little mind can only hold so much. But I know Who is leading me. I must try not to forget.

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