Sunday, December 5, 2010

Control Freak

Control Freek

By Kevin Probst

A Kun-trohl Freek is someone who has a strong need to control people or situations. Maybe you know one. Maybe you are one. We can get so wrapped up in our desire to be in control that control becomes an idol in our lives. We want to control circumstances, people and our own future.

The control freak says, “It’s my way or the highway.” A refusal to release this rigid, unbending attitude can place great strain on our relationships.

I’ve never thought of myself as a control freak, but, let me invite you to a place not always so pleasant. Come into my world. Come into the Kingdom of Kevin. Life in the Kingdom of Kevin is most pleasurable when I’m sitting in my big easy chair in my study and I’m feeling inspiration to compose a sermon or develop a lesson plan. The thoughts flow easily and swiftly from my mind through my finger tips into an awaiting laptop computer. All is well in the Kingdom of Kevin.

But, eventually I have to leave the Kingdom of Kevin. I slide into the seat of my truck and turn the key and venture out onto Interstate 185 leading south into Columbus, Georgia. This is when life in the Kingdom of Kevin begins to deteriorate. Cars going too fast. Cars going too slow. Cars riding your bumper. Cars pulling in front of you. My frustration level begins to rise.

We arrive at a restaurant. I want my food cooked just right. I want it delivered to my table in a timely manner and I don’t want the waiter coming every three minutes to interrupt my conversation to ask if I need a refill on my drink. Only a camel could drink that fast.

Finally, I find myself heading back home. In the Kingdom of Kevin a leather couch awaits me in a cozy living room. It is so nice to plop down and turn on my big screen T.V. Then I hear the sweet voice of my lovely wife calling from the kitchen, “Honey, would you like me to bring you some chips and a coke?” If this happens do you know what it means? It means I’ve entered the wrong house!

Control freaks have one major problem, the people in their lives. Those people are all imperfect people making the most of living in an imperfect world. When disruptions arrive in the Kingdom of Kevin I know its God reminding me that I’m not in control after all. It’s God reminding me that This is My Father’s World.

“This is my Father’s world.

O let me ne’er forget

That though the wrong seems oft so strong,

God is the ruler yet.”

I want to control my own FATE. I’m reminded of the Burger King slogan, “Have it your way.” I find myself too often wanting to have it my way. One of the most famous songs ever recorded was made popular by Frank Sinatra, “I did it my way.” For what it’s worth, this song happens to be the more popular song sung at British funerals. It’s about a man who is approaching the end of his life. He has chosen his own path, he has blazed his own trail. He looks back at all his accomplishments and proudly proclaims “I did it my way.”

One day I’ll stand before the God of the universe. When I look at the great Judge of Mankind I don’t want to say, “I did it my way”. I would rather say, “I did it your way.”

Kameron is my five year old son. When we travel the back roads of Harris County I occasionally let him slip into my lap and drive the car. He loves this but it literally drives his mother bananas. He places both hands on the wheel and off we go. I believe in letting my children make mistakes so they can learn from them. So, occasionally we leave the road. Sometimes we cross the center line and these are opportunities for me to teach. Sometimes I have to grip the steering wheel to save a good neighbor’s mailbox. Kameron wants me to let go because he thinks he can drive the car without my help.

Why do we insist on steering our own lives? Why do we want to grab the wheel when God is sovereign and all-wise and when he can drive so much better than we can? Why do we compete with him for control? When I’m driving I look out over the dash and I can only see as far as the next curve. But God has a bird’s eye view of everything. He not only sees the next curve, he sees the next hill, the yonder valley and all the curves and dips and bumps that lie ahead.

God reminds us that He is in control. Read the first ten words of the Holy Script. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…” The first concept God wanted us to grasp was that he was in control. We act foolishly when we attempt to wrestle control of our lives away from God.

As a child growing up in the outdoors of western Pennsylvania, I used to toss homemade ‘boats’ into French Creek and watch the water take them where it chose. Letting God control our lives is submitting ourselves to the flow of his will and being content wherever that may take us.

"The king's heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will."

Proverbs 21:1 ESV

Kevin Probst - Is a teacher of Apologetics and History at Calvary Christian School and Associate Pastor of Crosspointe Nazarene Church church in Columbus, Georgia.

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