by Morgan Tranmer
Relinquishing control is terrifying to me. It’s a sinking, claustrophobic feeling. But as much as I hate giving up control, I think I need to. And perhaps it will be a bit easier since I never had total control anyway.
In middle school I was teased for liking to read. You see, I was the kid who always had a new book, and I brought that book to every class with me. I read in all my free time and would stay up late into the night to finish one. Nonetheless, I was teased in middle school to the point that I no longer read in public, that is, until I came to college. And, high school wasn’t much better; it was a time that was pretty rough on my self-esteem. These experiences left me yearning for control in as many areas in my life as possible. I didn’t want to feel helpless or vulnerable, opening myself to potential hurt.
So, I crave control in my life. I live by schedules and lists and to-do’s and goals and patterns. My planner is color coded and updated throughout the week. The items on my to-do list have nice black lines running through them by the end of the week. Usually, by this time in the semester, I have developed my system and worked out all the kinks.
I am a few weeks into my senior year at UNL though, and I am quickly finding that I have less control than I think. I can only do so much now and at some point I will have to hand over control to someone else. I have no idea where I will be living at this time next year. I have no idea if I will have a job or be in grad school or have enough money to support myself. I have no idea if I will have new friends or lose old.
I sense that the control I feel I have over my future ends the minute I submit an application. College has seemed to give me a sense of control for the past 3 years; now I am faced with a lot less of it!
Honestly though, who have I been kidding? Can I really believe that I was the one in control? I don’t know what is ahead of me, but I don’t think I need to worry. Or, at least I can calm down a bit about it! I truly believe that God has a special and unique plan for each one of us – me included. Most of us experience moments when we think we are sitting in the driver’s seat of our lives, when in fact, I think, we are often just really horrible back seat drivers.
So, as hard as it is for me to ‘give up’ control, I am not totally lost. I am not wandering through life alone, and I take comfort knowing that I don’t need to have all the answers. Do I need to work on remembering this? Of course! But more importantly, I need to remember this: I am called to serve, to love, to forgive, and to minister. I am called to be a child, a friend, a mentor. I am called to be a learner and a reader and a cleaner. I am called to hugs and happy dances and big belly laughs. I am called to breathe in and breathe out the freshness of creation around me. And I can’t adequately live out any of these callings if I am more concerned about the next item on my to-do list.