Of all of my character flaws, the greatest must be my incessant need for control. This deep-seeded desire rules both my personal and professional lives. I was that student in college who, when given a group project, would tell my group to just show up for the grade. Let ME do the work. Let ME control the situation. Still, to this day, I find myself monopolizing group projects and efforts: Why would I want to risk the outcome if I know that I can dictate exactly how it will turn out?
The hardest part about my relationship with God is relinquishing this need for control. We say “God, the Father,” but I constantly feel like I am a rebellious teenager and God truly is my father; that patriarch who continuously strips away my control of every situation. As a child I viewed this as a lack of understanding and trust. As an adult, however, I can easily look back at my childhood and see that my father’s authority was to keep me safe and to steer me in the right direction. In my 30s, I have come to realize that God, my almighty Father, is keeping this presence in my life for the same reasons.
Many times I have fallen to my knees and screamed to the heavens “Why, God?!” when faced with circumstances that I cannot understand. Or, more frequently, when I do not get my way. I frequently catch myself fighting with God’s will, questioning His direction and even trying to barter to get my way: “If you give me this, then I will do that.” I am always trying to retain control even when it feels like I am guiding a dinghy directly into a hurricane.
This week’s scripture has always been a very important part of my journey with God. I long to be as devoted as Abraham; I long to be able to fully relinquish control and trust God wholeheartedly. Abraham gave up everything because of a promise that God made to him; he left his home, family and wealth behind all on the word of God. He allowed God to have complete, unconditional control of his life and its outcome. That level of trust and faith are what I strive for every day; to be able to put God above all else and to fully commit to my life as He sees it.
As we enter this season of new beginnings, let us all relinquish control to God. Let us allow God to guide us through life. And, most importantly, let us trust, with a faith like Abraham, that God will fulfill his promises.
Anna Reno is a devoted wife, mother and dog owner. She enjoys being outdoors as much as possible and watching her son, Jackson, play soccer.