Remember the Judith Viorst book– Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day?
My horrible day didn’t include limas, but I’ve wanted to press “delete” or somehow have a “do over.”
Actually my day was a bit better than Alexander’s because it started out good. I attended Sunday School and bonded with my class as we studied the book of Mark. Then my husband and I went to the Worship Service where we’re learning about the life of Elijah. The inspirational sermon was titled “Lord, Open My Eyes.”
It was while in the sanctuary things started going awry. I suddenly became concerned (OK, fearful) about unsaved relatives who didn’t have their eyes open. And even though the pastor insisted we couldn’t open anyone’s eyes but the Lord had to do it, without being aware I started contemplating ways I could accomplish that feat.
When we got home I gave a dissertation to Steve about a relative and how we might try to get him to open his eyes (although I didn’t use those words). I urged Steve to talk to him—to get him to see the truth since he wasn’t listening to me.
Steve yelled at me to lay off. What’s wrong with him? Doesn’t he care about his salvation or the wrong path he’s on?
I wrote and wrote about my conflict with Steve thinking the problem was on his side. I found a verse about the oppression of men (Psalm 119:134) and realized later I was the one doing the oppressing.
After awhile I got together with another family member who I caught in a lie, and I got really upset about that.
The third “bad connection” was with someone who called me up about breaking an engagement with her. I had, but was to find out it was because of the lie from family member #2.
Without listening to my side, this loved yelled nastily at me on the phone.
I pressed “off.” (That doesn’t feel as satisfying as slamming down the phone did in the old days.)
Then I lost control. I yelled, screamed, said, “I never want to see her again.” A choice swear word slipped out. I slammed the door of my bedroom so hard the whole room shook.
Finally today I see what the root of my problem was yesterday– why I overreacted to these three people and their real and/or imagined offenses against me?
What I learned from this terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day is that when I try to control others or circumstances, it only makes my life worse, and I end up losing control of me.
I’ve been down this road before, but God reminded me—again–along with a little help from Twila Paris that He alone is in control. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FiEB6mNpNU
I’ve repented, others have too, and we’re back on the right path again.
Today I’m praying I’ve learned this lesson well, so I don’t have to repeat it. And I’m embracing this verse as part of letting go of trying to control:
Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully. 1 Peter 5:7 (AMP)
How about you? Are you trying to control circumstances or people? Give it all back to Him and be reminded “God is in control.”