Control and release. Surely others have this problem. I need structure, and if there is not enough structure then I must enforce the structure. To the detriment of others around me. Surely the need to sleep and eat healthy is not unreasonable. But there are other needs, also. Needs that I fail to see unless I shift my focus.
So I forced myself to shift my focus. I’m still working on it. It’s hard. I find that when I am in a new situation my comfort zone is not in the situation itself, but the control I have over it. If I feel out of control then I am likely to put up my barriers and defenses. I deceive myself into believing that if I do not have control over any specific action, that I will be miserable. It is not the case. Sure, I may miss out on other opportunities but choices must always be made.
It is impossible to do everything.
But I want to. I want to do everything. I want all possibilities open to me. I want to spend all night talking and get a great night’s sleep. I want to live in Kenya, Costa Rica, France, Ireland, Zimbabwe, Peru, and North Carolina and still keep my ties to south Georgia. I want to do mission, liturgy, pastoral care, Eucharist, evangelism, relief work, and disaster response, get married and home school two kids and still stay as free as I am right now.
I want to control my life.
But it is not mine to control. My life is not my own but God’s. And in that I know that it is through relationships that I get to a fuller and deeper understanding of God’s power and will and love in my life. God lets us know what Love is through his people. If I am to feel the depth of love possible in this life, I must live in community with people who also seek to love and serve God. And living with people means living with their imperfections. I am plenty imperfect to be able to see the grace that others have while they live in community with me. What a display of love, that we do show patience with each other as we strive to live in community and let our light shine to the world.
So let me release control of my life. Let me practice it in my relationships. Grant me a safe environment where I can give over control to others, and let my heart be open to ways to be vulnerable to the community. Remind me of the connectedness of each of our hearts. Remind me to look for and respect the image of God in each person I meet. Let me respond to the Christ in you. Remember the Christ that I am trying to show is better than I am by myself.
That is Grace.