Tuesday, November 17, 2009


My daily prayer for this week begins, "Lord, free me from the obsession of trying to stuff every task into a predetermined neat little time slot." I can get so fixated on "keeping the schedule" that I'd hesitate to leave my work if the room caught fire.

A more likely danger is that fretting over what should be done (and in what order) could lead to an ulcer or something worse. Insisting that everything be planned perfectly down to the last millisecond is the sort of thinking that nervous breakdowns are made of. Many of us make things worse by trying to fit in more than sober thinking tells us we can handle. But even for the world's top time managers, it's literally impossible to ensure that things will always go according to plan, that there will never be an unexpected power failure or phone call or flash flood. Only God is never surprised by a sudden need to make adjustments.

And here as everywhere, our fleshly appetites try to usurp His rights--and complain when He overrules us. We cling desperately to the delusion that we must be in control, that we must have that security.

The saddest part is that, in the process, we cheat ourselves out of the true security that comes with faith that God is in control.

All our lives we chase control:
Fixed within each human soul
Is the urge for mastery,
Drive to grasp the things we see
And desire. We fret and plan
For each tiny thing we can,
Thinking this will make us whole:
All our lives we chase control.

But this longing for control
In the fallen human soul
Still believes the ancient lie,
"Be as God; you shall not die."
No one can cheat death for long;
Nor is anyone so strong
Just to meet each earthly goal.
We are not in full control.

God alone is in control,
He Who makes the oceans roll,
He Who lit each fiery sun,
He Who has for everyone
Better things than those we chase,
If we quit this frantic race.
"Know the Lord" should be our goal;
Rest, and let Him take control.

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