Control Is An Illusion


We spend a great deal of our waking lives trying to maintain or gain control of our personal situation. What we do before work or school, how we drive, what we do once we are in our offices or classrooms, and what we do when we get home are all based on the idea that our decisions matter. Well they do, but often not as much as we think they should.

In my life, I am constantly telling myself, “Well, if you can get X taken care of, then the rest of the day will run smoothly,” or “the problem is Y. Get that off your desk and you will have time for Z.” What I don’t realize is that there are 23 other letters in the alphabet I haven’t taken into consideration. John Lennon said, “Life is what happens while you’re making other plans.” I don’t think anyone has been successful in following a plan from birth to death without interruptions. Even Jesus had to deal with the zany antics of those disciples around him that thought they had things under control.

We don’t even have our own salvation in our own control. We can’t save ourselves. We can CHOOSE to be saved, but Jesus does the saving, not us. There’s nothing we can do to make God love us more. And it’s simply a matter of allowing God to work in us when the time comes.

What does that have to do with writing? I’ve never been the type to write a couple of pages a day. My life is too unpredictable for that. In addition, I find I need to be able to concentrate on my writing, which I can’t do if my life is currently a three-ring circus, which it often is.

I finished off last week with the idea that I would commit the weekend to getting my son moved down in Austin. When I got back Sunday night, first I had some health problems, and now some issues in my extended family that I need to address. In addition, my day job doesn’t hold still and wait patiently while I deal with NaNoWriMo. Mind you, I haven’t given up on NaNoWriMo; it’s just taking longer to get back in the saddle than I anticipated.

But as my old friend and fellow editor Randyle Maxwell used to say: “If you are going to write, you will find time to do it, regardless.” And that’s the bottom line. It will come, but only if I will it to come. I don’t have total control over my life, and the truth is I never did nor will I ever have control. But I can choose. God gives us that much–choice.

And the life we choose is in our hands.

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