Confession time: I’m a control freak. And not just a minor version of this either. I’m a Type-A control freak. Being a control freak doesn’t mean that I’m always in control or that it even has to be all my way. It just means that I have a tendency to look at the outcomes of a situation before they happen. I work diligently to anticipate problems and create solutions before they become problems.
But being in control is often an exhausting endeavor! Always anticipating problems. Always trying to look around the next corner. Always carrying the weight of burdens, even if they’re not yours. Managing struggles. Charting courses. Planning futures. The list goes on and on!
What if we weren’t supposed to live in a constant state of control? Now believe me just typing that sentence gave me an ill feeling in my stomach! But really, what if we weren’t designed to always be in control? What if the burdens that are on our shoulders are not ours to carry?
Perhaps another way of asking this is What is God calling you to lose control of today?
I’m certain he’s not telling us to quit our jobs or give up our families. But I’m equally certain that there are certain areas that we try to control that are just not ours to control. So what is it that God might be asking you to give up control of?
Often we fall into the belief that it’s just easier to do it ourselves rather than train someone else to do the job. Now there are times when this is the case but this isn’t sustainable. A good leadership principle is to constantly be looking for ways to give leadership away. And if you give it away, then you have to give up control as well. I see it way too frequently that someone will give up a task but hold onto the reigns too tightly. They give someone just enough rope to hang themselves with.
Giving up control means giving permission and authority not handing over a task. As a leader it’s difficult to do this but when you truly let go of the reigns of control in one area, you’re free to be the leader you were meant to be. So the question remains, what is God calling you to lose control of today? And to whom will you give that authority?
As you ponder this question, you might be feeling a little uneasy. I know when I first started thinking like this, I felt that way! But a second question that has helped reshape the way I think about this is to look at this from a different perspective.
What would life be like if you lost control?
Take that question and answer it in two ways. First, look at it from the out of control aspect. What would life be like if you were totally and completely out of control? Then pull it back in a bit and think about losing control of one part of your life. What would life be like if that part of your life wasn’t yours to carry? What would be different? What could that free you up to do?
Take time to consider what you’re doing. Evaluate what you’re doing that you really shouldn’t be doing. Then figure out who can do it just as good, if not better than you. Then step give permission and authority for them to take it. Resource them well. And enjoy the freedom of not being chained and controlled by your desire for control.