Monday, January 15, 2007

Confessions of a Control Freak

My name is Philip Cunningham, and I'm a control freak. Perhaps there are worse things in the world to be (like "serial rapist"), but control freak is shameful enough. I like to be in control. I enjoy steering the ship, and feel a certain degree of anxiety when I'm not. I like winning games & competitive events, and feel a great degree of frustration when those competitions don't go the way I want them to. I most certainly AM a control freak.

Today was an especially trying day for this control freak. I often meet with a group of ministry friends every Monday morning. This morning, I spent the entire morning waiting to discover when we would meet, only to find out that we would not be meeting. I was in the middle of an on-line game this afternoon when my phone rang & someone knocked on the door at the same time, forcing me to end my game. Then, when trying to prepare dinner, we were delayed TWICE. I had made a list of groceries to prepare dinner with this week, and we had to make two extra trips to the store today because Dad forgot to pick up groceries on the list. A series of events like that make for a trying day for me. Right now, I'm unsettled & stressed.

Being a control freak manifests itself in a variety of other ugly ways in my life. Without being too specific, you could imagine that Christianity doesn't work too well when you're butting heads with God as to who is steering the ship. Prayer has always been more difficult for me, I sense, than others.

I write here about it because I'm hoping for a little catharsis as I try to settle down to sleep. And if anybody has any friendly encouragement for this control freak, I welcome it.


Matt said...

Hey Philip,

I think God has purposely put mandatory things in our lives that require us to trust things to His control. Sleep is one. When you sleep, you don't control what happens to you. You can't protect yourself or do anything. You just have to trust that everything will be okay for a while without you. The same was true of Sabbath.

Emily said...

Philip- I really related to this post. I spend 40 hours a week with 4-6 toddlers. I am still learning that I am in charge, but not in control. There is so much I cannot control.
I find the literature of Alcholics Anonymous very helpful. Step three is "made a descision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God." This remains to be something that I try to do, but struggle with. It is hard for me to believe that God really has my best interest at heart. The "big book," starting on page 58 talks about the 12 steps and about giving God control. There are also some good ideas about morning and evening meditations around page 86. I could say more about giving God control, but my break is over and I get to take my students outside.
Oh, and your blog looks a lot better than mine does!

Anonymous said...

I think that you should have patients young warrior. Stop trying to convince yourself you're fighting with a dragon without, when you are fighting with a dragon within. When you learn that lesson you shall have the key!