Two months ago, my six-year-old son’s soccer schedule was stretching me.
It’s such a silly thing, looking back. But at the time, I was trying to maintain some control over our family’s calendar.
You know what you lose a lot of control over as your four kids get older? The calendar. Teachers, coaches, directors, club leaders and more all have an agenda for your kids.
So, when I signed my son up for soccer in January, I weighed in with what worked for us as a family. No Tuesday and Thursday practices, please. We need a team that meets on Mondays and Wednesdays. Also, he’d miss one week of practice because of our other commitments.
Then I waited for THE CALL, the one where you find out from your coach when and where to be for the first practice.
That’s when I found out: My son’s Monday/Wednesday team had changed to a Tuesday/Thursday team. And the one week I had said we couldn’t be at practice they scheduled for soccer team pictures.
I have no control over these things. I try to be in control. But I have no control.
This year seems to have eased me into a season of dependence. Soccer was just part of it. Ever since January, I was reminded week after week that I’m not ultimately in charge of everything that happens.
For a control freak like me, I actually think I handled it pretty well. No meltdowns. No extreme levels of fretting. Just quiet adjustments.
Soccer on Tuesdays and Thursdays? Okay then. It is what it is.
Then, of course, the entire soccer season was canceled after a week-and-a-half so I shifted again.
I released my need to control that.
I’m making new adjustments even now. I cannot control what groceries are going to actually be at the store each week, so we eat for dinner whatever I can find to cook.
And I release my need to control that, as well.
I cannot control what decisions the school board makes about my kids classes, grades, schedule or plan for next year.
I try little by little to release my need to control even that.
What I’ve quieted my soul with this year is that the more I realize I’m completely not in control, the more I rest in knowing that God still is in control.
Nothing is outside of His mighty and merciful hands.
Proverbs 27:1 says:
Don’t boast about tomorrow,
for you don’t know what a day might bring.
In God’s Wisdom for Navigating Life, Timothy Keller says:
“Those who believe they can eliminate uncertainty boast about tomorrow, thinking they have planned for every contingency….But you do not know what is to come. The future is wholly in the hands of God.”
Maybe it felt like my schedule rested in the hands of a soccer scheduling supervisor or a coach.
Maybe now it feels like a governor holds the next few months of my life in his hands or a school board or a superintendent of schools is in charge of my kids.
But surely that’s not the truth. Not the ultimate truth.
My life is in the hands of the Lord who loves me and won’t abandon me or desert me.
Sometimes I’m tempted to try to nag Jesus into doing what I’d like him to do in the middle of all this mess.
I’m not alone. Others in the past have tried to “manage” Jesus and make Him do what they wanted or expected.
The disciples tried to manage Jesus by keeping little kids away from him and by telling him to send people home because they didn’t have enough money to feed a crowd of over 5000 hungry people a meal.
His family tried to manage Jesus by coming to take him home when they heard about his growing ministry.
Peter tried to manage Jesus by denying the need for Jesus to be taken away and to die.
The plan for that first Good Friday isn’t something that any of Jesus’ followers wanted or expected or even understood. It was all completely outside their plans and they probably would have preferred in that moment for Jesus to just do what they wanted him to do and to be what they wanted him to be.
But God was in control
His plan was perfect.
His plan wasn’t for Good Friday to be the end; His plan for salvation included Resurrection Sunday.
I’ve been learning to relinquish my control over my life and my attempts to “manage” my Lord as if my ways or my plans are best.
After all, God planned Easter and it was perfect. Surely I can trust Him with my future and the months ahead.