Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
I am a control freak.
I would like to say a “recovering control freak,” but that wouldn’t be accurate. More precisely, I am a repentant control freak who recognizes I need to change. I’m pretty confident I’m not alone. My journey to recognition really accelerated with two catalysts - a presentation by a math teacher at a homeschool conference and the recent death of our family dog.
We all like to embrace the idea that we know what we’re doing, where we’re going and how to fulfill the roles we’ve been given to play in this life. It is too easy to put on a show that looks like we’re measuring up to whatever arbitrary worldly standard being pursued. But that is precisely the problem! The appearance of perfection is just that - an illusion or lie we present to ourselves and others.
Aside from the daily reminders God gives us that I am not in control, the first catalyst to change my perspective was a presentation that honed in on two passages - Matthew 6:5 and Psalm 139:1-16. In Matthew 6, Jesus reminds us that our aim is to please God, not men. If we pursue praise from men, we will have our reward in its entirety, and consequently miss out on pleasing God. In Psalm 139, the key thoughts were, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made,” and that God knows all about me and the days of my life.
God did not make me accidentally or mistakenly! As the speaker continued, he shared the story of his progression from fighting to use his gifts and blessings in a way the world deems best to instead see how those same gifts could be channeled to fulfill his duties as a husband, father and leader in his other areas of influence. He was most content and joyful when he was doing what God created him to do in the way God prescribed.
The second catalyst for changing my thoughts was the death of our dog, Seiler. She was a strong, graceful, patient, beautiful dog. Seiler was great with the kids and a good protector. But she could NOT control herself with food - in any form or any place, even the garbage! It was infuriating! Sadly, it wasn’t until her final weeks with us this summer that I realized the fault wasn’t with her, it was me and my attitude. Psalm 148:1-10 explains that all of creation from the plants and trees to the stars of the sky praise our Creator! Seiler was no different. She was created to be a certain way and my perspective was about the cost or inconvenience her “expressions” presented.
Now you’re thinking, “So What?”
I realized that it’s not just my dog where this bad attitude showed. More often than not, it is with my children when they don’t behave as I expect. Sometimes it can be with our spiritual family, too. My problem is getting upset when others don’t see the world and make choices in the same way I do.
I need to understand that I can’t control any of my children and I can’t control my spiritual family. I can only control myself. I don’t have enough of the self-control that I need and that I’m expecting others to display.
In thoughts, words and actions, I must be a better example for my children to validate the instruction I’m supposed to supply. This is also completely true and applicable with my spiritual family.
My encouragement to you is this - the next time you find yourself upset with someone, ask yourself if it’s actually wrong or just different. Ask yourself if your attitude might not need some adjustment to promote peace in your family, your church family, school or workplace. Then, pray for them and your own attitude!
Be thankful that God’s creation is so full of vibrant variety! God made you and everyone you meet. Just because His purpose for the other isn’t the same as yours doesn’t make their life worthy of contempt or ridicule - because they could think the same of you. Instead, choose to rejoice that our loving Creator supplies us all with life and opportunities to glorify Him and see how to do that better each day.