Control the Control
When I moved back to Kentucky almost 8 years ago now, I was a control freak. I started working again on the family farm with my father. Life lessons came fast and furious in that first year. Most of the lessons were inflicted by my Father above via my earthly father. My Dad, called Buggs by those close to him, is a stout, honest farmer. A man of few words, yet, a man to give heed to when he does choose to use them.
I remember the first growing season I joined my father upon my return to Kentucky, I asked Dad if we could meet the next Tuesday at 10 am in the barn to do some preparation for the month ahead.
His response, “We will have to wait and see what the day brings.”
I was working out a need to control. My father was working from reality and experience on the farm.
We all desire it. We work for it, but never quite get it.
Much of my energy has been spent trying to gain and maintain an illusion of control.
I have been thinking a lot about an alternate way of living, one that does not see command and control as the goal.
Here is my proposal. It is a quick four step process, a way to pause and examine your life.
1. Know where you are
2. Know where you are called
3. Own ‘your’ process
4. Take your next step
Please do not underestimate the simplicity of this.
I am going to unpack this a bit in the days ahead. First I want to start with a pre- step that is necessary:
Stopping long enough to pay attention to your heart.
For those of us that like control, stopping is painful. It feels pointless. The list is not getting done. Calls are not being made. Money is lost. Time is squandered.
Life starts with stopping.
Stopping allows us to see what is at the heart of our striving. It gives us time to gain perspective. If life for the controller is swimming against the current in a mighty river, stopping is sitting on the bank. It is sitting outsides of the water. It is looking at where you have come from and where you are going. It is catching your breath. It is drying in the sun. It is a nap in the soft grass, as the sound of the river lulls you to sleep.
Perspective that comes from stopping is not found in swimming against the currents. It is found on the banks of the river.
For a person to return to God, they must first return to their own heart, from which they are too often absent.
Is it hard for you stop and find perspective? When was the last time you stopped let some water pass by you instead of fighting against it? What do you need to do this week that will allow you stop?