“Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all.” – 1 Chronicles 29:11.
In the movie, Saving Mr. Banks, we get a very clear image on just how much control Mrs. Travers wanted over the movie Mary Poppins. First, Mrs. Travers supplied a story outline or treatment for submission to Disney. She had to give her blessing to every part of the process. She wanted to be consulted on artistic matters like casting. She wanted final approval of the script, Disney worked on the project for two years without Travers signing the final permission. Well, you get the idea. Mrs. Travers wanted control over every facet of the movie.
We as Christians try to control every facet of our lives, and by doing so we limit the access of God. We can’t pick and choose what parts of our lives we want God to be a part of, and we can’t pick and choose which characteristics of God we want to believe in.
Mrs. Travers thought she had everything about making this movie figured out. As we find out she didn’t. Not many people do. We have jobs, families, church, hobbies, and other opportunities to spread ourselves thin. We try to give each area of our lives equal attention because we know that they are all important, but it never seems to work out. It feels like something in our lives that we see as important ends up getting the short end of the stick, and when that happens, we feel like we’ve lost control. So what’s the answer?
I’m not sure I have the answer. But I know this. When we try and balance our lives on our own, we tend to divide our lives into easy to manage and not so easy to manage parts of the whole. The problem with that is we don’t deal with the not-so-easy to manage areas. The easy areas get all the attention. Even the easy areas can seem hard at times so we get overwhelmed.
The question we need to ask ourselves is where is God in all of this? Has He become someone that we talk to once a week and then push to the sidelines as we continue to pursue a wrinkle-free life? Not only are you going to control, but we ‘re also going to be tired.
When you are wrestling with God for control over your life consider the Serenity Prayer. Most people can recite the first few lines of the prayer:: “To accept the things I cannot change; Courage to change the things I can; And wisdom to know the difference.” But there is more to it. Consider these additional lines when you surrender to God the very things you’ve been trying to take control of from Him.
“Living one day at a time; Enjoying one moment at a time; Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; Taking, as He did, this sinful world. As it is, not as I would have it; Trusting that He will make all things right If I surrender to His Will; So that I may be reasonably happy in this life And supremely happy with Him Forever and ever in the next. Amen.”
I don’t know what you’re going to face this week. Nobody does. But I can tell you what God wants you to do. Let go of control, and accept God being in control. Let go, and trust. This is the first step to real serenity in your life.
- How do you feel about the idea that God wants to guide you through life?
- What might we stand to lose by holding out on God?
- Have you experienced the cost of resisting God on some particular point, or the blessing you have experienced through relinquishing control of some area of your life to the Lord.
- What do you know about the heart and ways of God that should make it easier to trust Him and relinquish control to Him?
- Pray for any specific battles for control or surrender issues that you may have.