Under Control?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010
My professional life has bridged two very different worlds - the world of ministry/counseling/spiritual formation and the world of small business ownership.

Sometimes those two worlds talk right past each other.

The ministry world -at least its healthier parts - tends to be suspicious of control. We're taught to let go of control of our lives, to avoid controlling people, to trust rather than grasp. An old phrase, "let go and let God", sums up the ministry world's fear of control.

The business world casts a much more favorable eye on control. You have to control inventory, cash flow, vendor relations, risk management. A shrewd businessperson will often say something like this: "You can't control everything, but you better control what you can control".

I think the truth is somewhere in the middle.

The ministry world is right that we can't control God or life or relationships or people. We can have life completely buttoned up and then a drunk driver veers on our side of the two lane highway. The world is a big mysterious place and God is definitely not a tame Lion who can be domesticated.

But the business world is on to something too. There are things that, as a manager of God's resources, I can and should control.

My health, inasmuch as I can exercise regularly, eat healthily and avoid harmful habits.

My spiritual disciplines, insuring that I am "wearing the groove" and giving God room to show up in my life.

The media to which I expose my eyes and ears.

The experiences and influences my kids have, at least during certain hours of the day.

The degree to which I am a person who can be trusted to tell the truth and to come through.

If I am a leader, the health of my organization and the spirit of my workplace.

I can't control everything but I need to control some things.

What in your life needs to be brought back under control?

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