I don’t know about you, but finding control often seems just out of my reach. And there’s noting like a military move to prove it!
Every couple of years the Army awards a contact to a moving company that will come and pack up all our worldly possessions and move them to the next place we will call home.
As with many business transactions, the winner is usually the lowest bidder. Which can lead to a lot of chaos in our lives.
We have been overwhelmingly fortunate with the majority of our moves, but as you might imagine, sometimes quality suffers when moving companies try to make a profit on what the government is willing to pay.
Just before our move from Fort Polk, Louisiana to Fort Hood, Texas, I actually accomplished what I typically only dream of doing before the packers arrive – I organized the toys. All of them. Sure, I paid my children good money to help categorize the small pieces into colorful fabric bins and collect the art supplies into a single plastic keeper, but it was well worth every penny to have created order where there was previously chaos.
By day two of packing my nerves were frazzled from being held hostage inside a house that no longer felt like mine. Overly loud music contrary to my usual genre mingled with the near constant cacophony of crinkling paper and packing tape as it was violently ripped from the roller, torn by the perforated cutting edge and smoothed over the edges of the boxes. As I maneuvered through the maze of brown cardboard monitoring progress that afternoon I came face to face with every control-freak’s nightmare.
I turned to peek in the toy room just as one of the packers dumped a red fabric bin of once sorted super-hero figures into a large box where dinosaurs and match box cars and rubber balls were already settling. A quick scan of the room revealed that the damage was complete. This was the last of 18 fabric bins he undoubtedly packed in the same haphazard manner.
I felt like the air had been knocked out of me.
Sometimes more significant events in life mirror this scenario. Just when we start to think everything is going according to plan, some person or situation comes along and upends our orderly existence.
Miscarriages, illness, accidents, deployments, lay-offs, natural disasters, children’s antics and even mean-spirited and inconsiderate people conspire to shatter any illusion of control we may have once entertained. Suddenly, chaos invades and attempts a coup on my control.What to do when chaos invades and attempts a coup on your control. #findingcontrol #holyspirithelp #choas Click To Tweet
What we choose to do next is critical.
The Chance to Choose
I could have demanded the packer open all those boxes, re-sort the toys into their respective bins and pack them just as I had or read him the riot act. I could have threatened to call his supervisor or screamed and shouted a stream of obscenities that would have made a sailor blush to vent my frustration. Any of those responses would likely have caused him to walk out of the house never to return. My entire move would have fallen prey to a prolonged bureaucratic battle. By attempting to regain control of the situation I would have caused more damage.
What I did was breathe deeply, which may have sounded more like a sigh of resignation, and walk away.
In reality, our reactions are the only aspects of most situations over which we exercise any real authority. We choose whether we will allow our flesh or the Holy Spirit to guide our responses. But we need that pause, that breath, that stillness for a beat… that chance to choose wisely in the midst of chaos.
To have self-control I must freely relinquish all authority over my reactions to the power of the Holy Spirit. I can’t act on my feelings or desires or frustrations. When I respond in my flesh to situations that feel out of control, I usually only make the perceived problem worse. I must allow the Holy Sprit to take charge. Only He can keep me from becoming out of control when faced with things beyond my control. The truth is I’m not in control of my circumstances and I never have been. Without the power of the Holy Spirit living inside me I am incapable of finding control over my response to chaos.To have self-control I must freely relinquish all authority over my reactions to the power of the Holy Spirit. #findingcontrol #pcsmove #Imnotincontrol Click To Tweet
Will you allow your flesh to lead you toward anger, fear, doubt and hopelessness? Or will you follow the Holy Spirit’s prompting to respond in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control despite chaotic circumstances?
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering,
kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.”
Finding control in chaos only happens when we submit to the Spirit.Finding control in chaos only happens when we submit to the Spirit. #findingcontrol #whenchaosreigns Click To Tweet
Dear Heavenly Father, I am so thankful You are in charge of the universe and I am not. Forgive me when I try to manipulate situations according to my own agenda. Help me to recognize You are in control, to subdue my natural response, and to submit to the power of Your Holy Spirit as I respond to situations that are out of my control. Amen.
“For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.”