Last night at youth group, we talked about how we need to let God take control, especially the things that are often out of our control. I’ll be honest. When I was preparing for the lesson, I didn’t think much of it. I had read the story about the centurion from Matthew 8 many times before, so I thought I was all set. I’d talk about it, throw in some personal examples, and send them off to their small groups. As I was teaching, though, I began to realize that I struggle with this more than I thought.
Just yesterday, I led a total of three meetings, did the welcome and announcements for our church’s worship gatherings, ran the games at youth group, taught the high school lesson, and filled in as a small group leader. I also spent the morning teaching one of our volunteers how to use the new computer we got for the projector. This is the same computer that I set up myself how I wanted it to be set up. Often, I take control because I see a need, so I do it. But other times, I feel I do take control because I enjoy it.
Then there are times that I am confronted head-on with the fact that I cannot control everything. One example was when my grandfather was sick with cancer. As hard as I tried, there was nothing I could do to make him better. Then there are times, like recently, when our church is going through a transition. We are currently searching for a worship/arts minister, and I wish I knew who God wanted to serve in the position. Still yet, there are other times when a student chooses to go their own way and turn away from God. I wish so much I could take control and not let that happen. Then there are other times that happen often when working in a team. I could often take control and do everything, but the better thing is to wait and allow the team to function together. It would be so easy to take control, but I cannot for the sake of the team.
Let go, and let God. That phrase is often seen as just another cliché in the church, but when I really think about it, there is a ton of wisdom in that five word statement that I have often overlooked when it comes to my daily life. I was reminded by one of our high school students, who mentioned how another student really impressed him on a mission trip. He talked about how her entire attitude was like nothing he had seen before. She was constantly reminding him to not worry and just let God take control. And it seemed like that was how she approached everything in her life.
I know many people see me as a fairly laid-back kind of guy, and for the most part, I am. However, there are times when I do wish I could take more control of things and change them. There are times when it is extremely difficult to just “let go and let God.” I want to be able to fix things. I want to be able to make it all right. But the truth is that I cannot. In fact, the truth is that I am able to do very little in this world. Sure, I think that all my feeble efforts are actually worth something, but when I look at it from a different perspective, they are nothing in comparison to what God has, is, and will do.
The way I ran a meeting is nothing. The way I organized a computer is nothing. The way I setup a ministry is nothing. It’s all God, and the times that I think I did a good job, that is Him shining through even more. It’s kind of funny that it takes a day like yesterday, when I felt I was doing a ton of things to be reminded that it is really not me at all. It never is, except for those times when I fail. Those I get to own. The times when I have succeeded, they are not mine to own. They are His only, as He was the one who gave me the abilities.
So, for all you fellow take-control-people out there, especially those in the ministry world who need to lead by example, let’s take a lesson from the centurion and this high school student. Let’s let God take control, because really, when we seriously look at things, what would we do if we actually did have control? We’d probably fall on our faces. So, join me in handing things over to the one who has much much much more ability to handle each and every situation with perfection. The details of how that actually happens in each situation may vary, but the thing that stays the same is the mindset. Don’t fret. God is in control. The sooner we acknowledge and accept it, the better life becomes.