It's Not a Competition
Updated: Oct 6, 2018
Dear future little one,
A really good friend once told me “When you try to control everything, you enjoy nothing and get a whomping headache for all your trouble”. And the older I get, the more I realize just how tiny I am in this immense, beautiful, crazy, wondrous world, and just how little control I have over anything.
Every summer growing up I would go to a church-run camp for one week out in the middle of nowhere to learn survival skills and grow closer to my Savior. We’d be up in the mountains surrounded by thousands of trees with no cell reception and no one but the bugs to hear our snores and late-night giggling. It was so peaceful. And every year, on one of the last nights of the camp, the counselors would take us out into a field and have us lay on the ground and look up at the stars. Far away from any light pollution, we’d gaze up into the eternities and talk about how huge the universe was and how small we were in comparison. That’s usually the point where the internal freak out about how small and insignificant we were started. As the overwhelming feeling of inadequacy and powerless would start to overpower us, some calm counselor would invite us to sing “I Am a Child of God”, a church song that reminds us of our Heavenly Father who loves and knows each of us. They would remind us of how insignificant and powerless we were so that we could remember our intense need to for an all-powerful God in charge of every aspect of our lives. The fear would start to subside, and faith and gratitude would start to take its place.
Every summer I went to that camp and had the same reminder of how small and insignificant I am but how powerful and loving my Heavenly Father is. And every summer I would commit myself to trusting in God more and trying to control things less. And every summer that resolution would get washed away with all the dirt in my hair when I showered the moment I got home.
Life is crazy. Absolutely insane. But incomparably wonderful. But usually I’m too busy worrying about the craziness and the stress to notice the wonderful parts.
There are so many aspects of life that we can’t control: the weather, other people’s reactions, your health (don’t even get me started on the unpredictability of a physical or emotional illness), your passions, your child’s decisions, the loss of a job, the diagnosis of a loved one. And the list goes on and on. But you know what you get when you worry about all of those things you can’t control? You get stressed, you get sick, and you get NOWHERE.
This is one of my all-time favorite pictures of Christ. It remind me that even though the universe is so large, and I’m so small, and there are so many things in that large universe that little ol’ me has no control over at all, I know who IS in control: Him.
So choose to let go. Choose to not stress about things you can’t control. Choose to trust Him and recognize His loving power in your life. It truly is a choice. When you’re on the phone with a loved one who’s struggling and you feel incredibly powerless to do anything to help, choose to give it to Him. Definitely still love them and feel sorry for them! But remind yourself that you’re not in control, God is. Choose to let go of the control you don’t have and give it back to Him where it belongs.
Forever and Always Yours,