Fides, veritas et virtus

Confessions of a control freak

I am a chronic unrepentant planner. When I start to feel like I’m stuck, when I start to feel like things are out of control, when I’m simply bored – I plan. I plan to procrastinate…it makes me feel like I’m doing something. Once I even planned the syllabus with assignments, textbooks, dates, everything for a philosophy course that perhaps I might teach someday which I won’t because I’m not a teacher or anywhere near the education field. Most recently I’ve begun planning things like my homelife and my career – even though I’m not married, don’t have children, don’t have even a house or apartment at the moment, haven’t started let alone finished grad school, etc. I’ve figured out what homeschooling curriculum I want to use, searched for house plans, guesstimated solar power costs, all sorts of things. Part of this is just boredom, and part of it is hopeful expectation, and part of it gives me a sense of control.

But what is interesting is that although these plans give me a sense of security, as if I have considered every option, they rarely if ever turn out as the way that I imagined. This used to really bother me. When I was in my last few years of high school and first few years of college I plunged into a terrible depression and actually had to leave school because I wasn’t able to wrap my head around the fact that I was not really in control of anything. Because I had no belief in a higher power, it was terrifying to me to see that I was making all these plans, that I had all these ideas yet my life was going in an entirely different direction. If I wasn’t in control who was?

Fast forward four years and I know who is in control. And I made a commitment to He who is in control to follow His will not mine. I know that God probably isn’t leading me into a life that I would hate because He came that we would live more abudantly. And each step that I have been lead along has been more wonderful than the one before (minus the times when I decided it was time to take a detour – those weren’t so much fun) and yet I still have a hard time letting go of planning.

I always want to turn the page, to read ahead, to read the last page even – just to make sure everything turns out alright. And to be honest sometimes I sulk and glare at God because He won’t let me see ahead. Not that anyone gets to anyway. But for some reason I think I have the right to know how the story ends. Or, alternatively, that I have the right to plan and have those plans honored.

I’m pretty sure God laughs.

And suddenly it hits me as I am writing all this down: my belated Lenten sacrifice – planning. Here I commit myself to give up planning for the remaining days of Lent. Beyond the necessary plans that must be made for my upcoming Spirit-led move to Guatemala, I’m taking it one day at a time from here on. Better late than never right?


I guess the “unrepentant planner” is little repentent after all, hmm.


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