Ugh. I lost it. Again. Or rather, it was taken from me. Last night, it was grabbed out of my hand when I was relaxed, my guard down, thinking things were going pretty well.Control. The thing I am most interested in, the thing I grasp most tightly. And, the thing that causes me the most trouble. I have a love-hate relationship with it. Like an addict, I am willing to throw away almost anything to maintain it.
Sadly, that can include the people around me. Mess up my plans, interrupt my carefully scheduled day, at your own risk. I won’t confront you or yell at you, but you’ll know. I always feel badly afterwards, but then justify myself. If they would have been more orderly and intentional, I wouldn’t have had to get annoyed.God is in control. I repeat the words, pretending they are a comfort. Instead, they mock me. Because with Him in control, I am not. And I am getting twitchy just thinking about it.
I remember talking with a coworker who was addicted to nicotine. He said he always had an extra carton of cigarettes in his car trunk. He needed that security. He told me that a part of him was always thinking about where he could buy more.That was back in 1999 and we had recently been through Hurricane Floyd. He shared with me the panic he experienced imagining what would have happened if he couldn’t get to a store. As I finish one pack of cigarettes, I’m calculating how many I have left, and picturing where the closest place is to get more.
I remember feeling incredibly sorry for him. And, honestly, rather disdainful. How pitiful to allow yourself to get that dependent on something. Where was his self-respect? What a waste of his energy and attention to be constantly thinking about his next smoke!
And I sit here, thinking about… no, obsessing, about my own addiction. It’s no more healthy, and really, no less pathetic.I have acknowledged my “control problem” more than once. I have confessed it, asking God to help me conquer it. I have apologized to those hurt by my grasping need for it. And yet, here I am again. What was it Solomon said? As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool to his folly. (Proverbs 26:11) It’s disgusting, but accurate.
What do I do? I’m task-oriented, so I do a Kindle search to find a book on it. I search a Bible concordance to find verses. I ask my husband to help me recognize it. I pray, again. The irony of attempting to take control of my problem with control is not lost on me. (Even writing this blog post is a way to try and process things, regaining some control!)
It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad and downright frustrating. Because I've done this before, and yet here I am again, back at the slimy, stinky mess I made.I sit here writing, still feeling slightly ‘hung-over’ from last night. I’m so disappointed in myself. In my head I know God doesn’t get disappointed in us, but I feel like He should be tired of me. What kind of sick person willingly returns to nausea-inducing throw up?
At MTI (my mission training) we learned that there would be times as a missionary when the only thing we’d be able to say was, “God help me!” Back then I thought that was meant for those first months when everything in a new country, culture and language was new and challenging. Foolish me. It's three years later and the only thing I have is, “God help me!”
Another day I may have a neat bow with which to wrap up this post. A word of encouragement to myself and anyone reading. I’m afraid that, for right now, I don’t. God help me because I surely cannot help myself. And maybe, just maybe, that’s the start.