Control No More

So what are you giving up for Lent? I have decided to give up control for Lent. What exactly does that mean, you say?  Isn’t that the opposite of the discipline of fasting that is encouraged during these 40 days? Fasting takes a great deal of control. Controlling our carts as they propel us into the unnecessary aisle at Target. Controlling the steering wheel as we drive by Kopps and the flavor of the day is Tiramasu, or controlling our tongue as the car behind us decides we are driving too slow past Kopps and lays on the horn.

This is a different control, and yes, it will take a lot of control to fast from control.

But I know my need for control is one of my biggest obstacles to a deeper, more transforming relationship with God. Not being able to hand the reins over is a constant challenge. Not being able to set it down.

During the February Fire, winter workshop at Firstfruits last Sunday, we talked about Self Care. We were encouraged to ponder where we are in that discipline. As I was writing down things I could do to take care of myself, the phrase “Set it down” popped into my mind. I don’t really know what that means, but it was loud and clear. One of those moments of clarity and at the same time wonder. What is “it”?  Who wants me to set “it” down? When did I pick “it” up?

In the midst of the wondering, what was clear to me was that I really have been carrying a weight for as long as I can remember and I was tired of it. Just the thought of setting it down gave me a sense of peace and rest that felt so good, and at the same time so foreign.

I’ve come to realize that cross I am carrying around, that weight that makes me so tired and keeps me from the lighter, lovelier life God wants for me is CONTROL.

So, I am going to give up control for Lent.

Wish me luck. It will be no easy task. This will probably be the hardest thing I have ever given up for Lent because it informs so much of my everyday choices, thoughts,

and actions. But I felt a brief respite from it since yesterday as I made baby steps in letting go and it feels SO good.

In the spirit of my Lenten resolve I will abruptly end this blog and not worry about how many words, if it’s good, if it’s funny, or how to get more people to read it.

I will just set it down.


Joan Carey, Firstfruits executive director, is an author and speaker with a passion for helping women grow in their relationships with God. Her Ponder This book contains a series of modern day parables sure to get you thinking about and seeing our extraordinary God in our ordinary experiences. Joan invites you to use resources on this website for daily reflection in your journey to grow in God's loving care for you.
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