I can remember sitting in a group of kids at school and our teacher giving us a task that we needed to work together on. I loved school and I loved getting good grades so the moment I took one look around my little group, the kid staring out the window at the soccer field, the girl flirting with that boy looking out the window, another kid looking at each of us desperately to save him; I knew I would need to take control of it if we were going to get a grade I would approve of.
I was reminded of this desire to control as a child when I recently opened a toy for my daughter. It was a handful of dinosaurs, 2 palm trees and 4 pieces of fencing. I thought, “Dinosaurs and fencing? Really? Does anyone really think that tiny fence is going to keep Tyrannosaurus Rex in?” I would have liked to be in that meeting where the toy company huddled together trying to think up what would go into the toy tube along with the dinosaurs.
toy executive #1 "I know, we could make a volcano or a cave for them to play in/on."
toy executive #2 "No, that will be too bulky. Hey! I have some left over fencing from the horse toys. Let's throw that in there and call it a day."
Maybe someone actually reminded the toy executive panel of our innate desire to control. It would be that desire that they could play off by using the fencing.
Obviously with a set of toys we can control the outcome of whatever game we are playing at. We want to have a family? Voila! Here is the Barbie Mom, G.I. Joe Dad, Strawberry Shortcake daughter and Winnie the Pooh brother. You want to ride on a yacht? Here you go, this old box can become the most amazing three leveled, multiple stateroom, huge decked, fully staffed (by the Backyardigans of course) and fastest yacht on the planet. Now stop that day dream and imagine another child stepping into this picture. Another child who wants the box to be a house instead of a yacht. There went control. Arghhh!
The dinosaur fencing jumped out at me as a reminder. My desire for control is bred out of fear and wreaks havoc on my body due to the stress of worry and being anxious about the things I am trying to control but seem to be slipping from my grasp.
Luke 12:22-31 is what I will meditate on today:
"And he said to his disciples, "Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. Consider the ravens: they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them. Of how much more value are you than the birds! And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? If then you are not able to do as small a thing as that, why are you anxious about the rest? Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, nor be worried. For all the nations of the world seek after these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you."
With that thought in my heart today I will work to unclasp my hand and let go of the things I am crushing there. I will let myself lose control...
What are the things you are clutching and trying to control today? Do you think you could let go of them and trust in a Father who knows what you need?