Control Freaks

May 18, 2016

I wish spring would make up it’s mind. Here in Wisconsin it has been a week of sun and 70’s followed by one rain and 40’s. I know it’s probably normal, but it still isn’t fun. We had our windows open last weekend, enjoying the breeze, and who knows, tomorrow I might need to turn the furnace back on. If I believed Mother Nature to be a real person, I would want to punch her in the face. I have an unnatural desire to control the weather, or perhaps to believe I can control it – and that in turn leads me to become frustrated when I fail to do just that.

As a person who struggles with anxiety sometimes, there are these words that Jesus said that sometimes offend me.

“And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?….Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:27, 34)

He makes it sound so simple it’s almost demeaning.

“Of course YOU don’t have anything to worry about Jesus. You’re the Son of God after all. You  can do all things through yourself who strengthens you…come on man…. .don’t be anxious….. (add ambiguous and disgusted muttering noises here)”

Those are fair thoughts, and I think he understands them. But I also think he might have been on to something.

Whenever I check my weather channel app for tomorrow’s forecast, it makes me think about tomorrow. What will I be able to do? What should I wear? How long will my commute take?

Along with those questions, comes a false sense of control. If I know what it’s going to be like, I can somehow do something about it. Sure, it’s reactionary, but the very face that we have developed ways to look months into the future to “forecast” things proves my point. Maybe, if we know, we can change it. It seems silly to say it out loud. We rationalize it by saying we’re preparing. But is preparing 15 days beforehand for the possibility of rain and 40 degrees really helping anyone? It’s going to happen no matter what. You can’t control the weather.

I think Jesus’ words speak more about ‘me’ than my worry. It’s like he’s asking;

“Why are you so interested in controlling tomorrow? You can’t even control today. When you realize that, and start trying to serve instead of control, I think you’ll be able to relax.”

I would respond, “But Jesus…. But – but – but….”

Jesus would say, “But what?”

And he would be right. 75 and sunny, or 40 and pouring rain, the weather is what it is. Whether we are sitting in a hospital room staring at a heart monitor, or in our living room laughing and surrounded by friends, life will happen. We cannot fully control it. The sooner we realize that, I think the happier we’ll be. And if we never do, at least there’s an app for that.

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