|"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear... Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life ?" - Matthew 6:25a, 27 (NIV)
The Cure for the Common Control Freak
By Jennifer E. Jones
I am such a hypocrite. All this time, I’ve been leading a double life.
My friends think I’m this cool and composed person. I’m often described as laid-back and quite easy to get along with. One of them told me, “You never worry about anything, do you?”
I’ve got them fooled.
Hello, my name is Jennifer, and I’m a control freak.
By day I am a mild-mannered gal. Underneath this easy-going facade is a stress ball of organizing, mental rolodexes, and a strange obsessive scheduling habit that gives me the illusion of keeping everything under control. I can be hopeless stubborn about doing things my way, and my tongue has permanent groove marks in it from all the times I bit down trying not to tell a friend, "You know, if I were you, I would have..."
And it never stops. Even if I’m relaxing, my mind is still racing with what I have to do next, what could I do better, and on and on. You could light Time Square with the kinetic energy I burn on the inside.
So it’s no surprise with all this tension in my life that I’ve gone through a couple masseuses. I wear them out like toothpicks. When I arrived at my last appointment with a new girl, I wondered if word had spread of my previously difficult sessions. She shook my hand and smiled but her eyes said, “There she is. The body of a thousand knots.” Later she would learn that her assessment was right.
The mood was set perfectly as most upscale massage places are. Dim lights, quiet music, heated beds; even the room was lightly scented with a jasmine-tinted fragrance. As I lay down, she spoke in that low, soothing tone hunters use to calm down angry bears. “We’re just going to relax and leave all of the cares of the world outside," she said.
I thought, ‘Cares of the world. Outside. Got it… I wonder if I’ve missed any phone calls...’
Even though my brain refused to be at rest, I thought I was doing a particularly good job of lying still and not laughing (which, if you’ve ever had a massage, is really hard when they roll over ticklish spots). However, as good a performance of serenity that I was putting on, my body was singing a different song.
The poor girl. She used her fingers, forearms, elbows, and a plank of wood, but no matter how hard she pressed, the knots in my back and shoulders refused to move underneath my skin. I would tense up and get as stiff as a board every time she touched me.
She kept whispering, “Relax. Breathe.” I kept wanting to say, “I’m trying. I’m trying.”
Then she said the one thing that set me off. “Just let go.”
I wanted to jump off the table and say, “I can’t let go! That’s my problem!”
Letting go is always the hardest thing for a control freak to do. Truth is behind every control freak is a worrier. We worry about whether we’ll find a parking space downtown or whether we’ll ever get married. We worry about eating too many carbs or not drinking enough water. Global warming, gray hairs, large crowds… Life is a death trap waiting to happen.
So we schedule, orchestrate, and create our own little universes where everything goes according to plan. Nothing ever surprises us because a surprise could potentially expose a weakness. And who wants that running around for the world to see? We don’t want people to know that we’re not as smart as others think we are. We certainly don’t want them finding out that we get lonely sometimes.
However, God loves us in our weak areas because it is where He shines the most. He tells Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Because of that Paul replies, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.” He didn’t feel the need to overcompensate to make up for his lack. He let God pick up the slack.
Perhaps you’re feeling like me today, and you’re rushing about trying to control your own life. I want to encourage you. I could write a bullet list of things you could do, breathing exercises to try. I have a list of massage therapists to recommend from Virginia to California. However, in reality, they all come down to this simple truth from I Peter 5:7: “Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.”
Give it up. Let go. You’d be surprised how well the world will go on without your help.
Got comments? Drop me a line.
CBN IS HERE FOR YOU!
Are you seeking answers in life? Are you hurting?
Are you facing a difficult situation?
A caring friend will be there to pray with you in your time of need.