I think I’m going to start a series blogs entitled ‘Things I’ve Come to Realize.’ In these blogs I will be sharing tokens of wisdom that I’ve acquired, epiphanies that I’ve had, and things that have been on my mind along with the context that accompanies them. For your convenience as the reader and my sanity as the writer, I’m going to number the ‘things I’ve come to realize.’
“Thing I’ve come to realize #1”: I shouldn’t get upset about things that I cannot control.
I was thinking about this recently. How often do we as humans get ‘our panties in a bunch’ over things that happen to us? My conclusion was: a lot… too often, perhaps. I was talking to a friend recently who is going through tension in her family. The tension was bad enough that she told me, “my parents are trying ruin my life.” (highly unlikely in reality, but this shows the severity of her emotions) It turns out that her parents made decisions that directly affected her, but did not take time to ask for her opinion. I’m sure if we were in her shoes we’d feel hurt, angry, neglected, and probably have a similar response. Do I think this gives people an excuse to have a negative reaction to those situations? Definitely not. Don’t get me wrong, I’m guilty of this just as much as the next person, but this is one area in my life that I am trying to turn around. If you think about this rationally, what do you get out of an intense negative reaction (ie. Name calling, false accusations, pointing fingers, etc) when life throws you a curveball? Absolutely nothing in my opinion. At best you will get stressed, angry, and worried about the issue (again, this is under the assumption that the problem is something you cannot control).
The idea that I’m trying to pitch is that instead of these negative reactions in uncontrollable situations, we should give the issue to God. I believe in a God that is all knowing, all powerful, all loving, and highly personal. If a situation gets me so worked up that I am no longer acting normally or rationally, I’m telling God that I don’t trust Him to take care of me the way he has promised. I would be saying that my imperfect, finite knowledge is better than His. I would essentially be calling Him a liar for breaking His promises and asserting my own plan in His place. Not only that, but I would also be allowing the situation to dictate my emotions. Emotions are not something easily controlled, but I do believe they are controllable. I’m sure you can draw your own conclusion from here, but first I want to leave you with a message that I got from a fortune cookie of all places. It reads “The best way to navigate through life is to give up all of our controls.” I taped this on the inside cover of my bible as a constant reminder that I need to give up uncontrollable circumstances and my emotional responses to them to God since He’s in undoubtedly in control, not me.