Control. I know I struggle with it. I know I desire to have it—more of it, all of it—all the time. Can you sense why this may be an issue for someone who wants to be fully surrendered to the will of God? I feel like Gollum (from Lord Of The Rings. I frequently show my NERDness with these sorts of illustrations) when he gets all crazy wide-eyed at seeing "THE RING," and says, "We wants it, we needs it. Must have the precious. They stole it from us!" If you have seen the movie, you know that this little creature goes straight-up berserk when he loses that ring.
That is how I feel when I am not in complete control of any given situation. I can rationalize (rational lies) this compulsive need if I try hard enough. I was married to an abusive drug addict that tried to kill me—frequently. So to someone who had no control over whether they were getting beaten or held hostage, control can seem like something they want to get and keep.
More recently, my controlling ways have kept me directly outside of God's will. I served as a worship leader at my church for two years, then stepped away from that due to stress, a bit of a burn-out, and feeling called into another area of ministry. For a few weeks, I was blissfully happy not having to deal with people not showing up to practice, finding songs to sing, putting together PowerPoint presentations, etc.
Then there was this gnawing ache within me. I felt like my puppy died. I was mourning the loss of a ministry that God had gifted me for. I will not deny that I needed a break, time to gather my thoughts, focus on my relationship with God, restore my soul, and renew my love for music and worship, but I do not believe He intended for me to quit the position like I did. Now it has been a couple of months, everyone is asking me when I will sing again, and one of the leaders that took over for me left our church. I can feel God leading me back to the worship team. I called up the pastor, he seemed thrilled at the idea, and spoke with the group I used to lead. Great! They wanted me to come back! I went to church the next day feeling pretty good, happy to get back into the swing of things, and discovered that my team is following another leader. (Can they even do that?) My role is being filled by someone else. She is arranging the practices, selecting the music, and—dare I say it?—telling me what to do!
I actually went home that night, after telling them that I wasn't ready to come back after all, and told my husband that if I couldn't be in charge, then I didn't want to play—errr, sing. As soon as the words left my lips I was so ashamed. Lord help me, I know that this isn't about me. I do not want my life to be the "Angie Show, Starring Angie!" I want to live as a humble servant whose life reflects Christ.
Humble—wow. Isn't control all about pride? I don't want that. I don't want any part of it. I know what happens after pride shows up. Control is something that you can never have enough of, like an addiction. I am going to have to surrender (relinquish control) of my control issues to God and live every day trying to kick the habit. I guess this means that when I show up for practice next week I will be eating a big fat plate of humble pie.
And I intend to relish every second of it.
Angie Smith is a homeschooling WAHM of 5 kids. She gave her life to Christ in OCT 2008 and has been active in ministry since, serving as Worship leader, secretary, teacher and occasional floor mopper at her church. She loves Jesus and is inspired to share her stories of believing, worshiping and leading. Visit Angie on the web at http://thoughts4theroad.com