My friends, I’ve been struggling with my compulsion to micromanage everything. I want tell God what needs to change in the world, in my life, in my friends’ lives. I want to tell him what I think he needs to do. I want to tell the people in my life what they can do to make the world better. I want to fix things.
It’s hard, because I have this vision of how things ought to be. I see clearly what’s wrong, and what needs fixing. I don’t have this in every area. But many times, I see what would help. I realize that this is just my own perspective. I don’t know everything. But having this strong vision makes it hard for me to be quiet and still, instead of implementing steps towards what I see.
But there’s just this thing. Sometimes my vision is a gift. It helps me to lead and act in situations, when others dither. But it’s also a hindrance, because it’s just one perspective, and there’s much more that I’m not seeing. And it can really drag me down, because I get frustrated when things don’t go according to this strong feeling of how they should go.
The main thing is, that I’m not trusting the story. A lot of times I don’t even see what God is trying to do. I’m just too wrapped up in my own narrative. And what’s happening around me doesn’t jibe with that narrative.
So I have to trust the story more. I have to believe that God is working in just the right way, all around me. He doesn’t need me mucking about trying to “fix” everything. Sure, he needs me to act righteously and do good deeds. He needs to work through me, and to love others through me.
But, and this is horrible, I tend to unconsciously think that I need to go around managing the world because it’s not being managed very well. When the truth is that God does NOT need me to manage the world.
God’s not deficient in the way he runs the world. He, who created everything, said, “It is good.” He fashioned the world, and life, just as it is supposed to be, nothing more, nothing less. He has worked through history, through the lives of Adam and Eve, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, the Israelites . . . I could go on, and on. In each of these stories, the individuals had to learn to trust the story, and that it was enough. All of the troubles of life came about because they didn’t trust, because they thought God wasn’t doing his job well enough, so they needed to get in there and fix things.
Yikes. I know it’s pride. I feel like I need to just keep telling myself, over and over, “You don’t know better.” I feel like I need to see each moment like a blank slate, instead of seeing my vision of how things should go. I need to watch and see what God is putting on that blank slate, and learn more about him.
Those who have been reading this blog, know that we’ve been looking at the red-letter words of Jesus in the book of John. Today’s verse is, Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him. (John 5:22-23)
Jesus is supposed to make the judgments, not me. Of course, this is referring to the final judgment. But it highlights how ridiculous it is that I put so much stock in my own opinion. His opinion is the one that counts.
I said that I would be Jesus’s disciple. That means that I should be constantly trying to learn from him. My eyes should be on him, knowing that I don’t know everything, and watching for what he can teach me.
Instead, I’m a disciple of me.
Why would I do that, when no matter how much I manage, and move things around, I can’t save myself. . . or anyone else?
God gave Jesus the power of judgment so that people would honor him. The whole point was that people wouldn’t look at Jesus like he’s a philosopher, but that they would think, “Uh, oh, this guy’s got power over our eternal destiny, so we’d better pay serious attention to him.”
I have to pay serious attention to Jesus and honor him.
I feel like, in this new year, I need to start all over and figure out what it really means to be a disciple of Jesus. I need to listen for his voice in every situation, so I follow him, and not my own thinking or vision. I need to seek input from others who are following him.
I think it will allow me to take a deep breath, and feel free, and find more joy and peace.
I’m eager to start this journey. Who’s with me?
“Do you see a person wise in their own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for them.” (Prov. 26:12)