Did you know that I once brought my own forks to China? It’s true!
A few years ago, my husband, Phil, was invited to teach at Liaoning Normal University in Dalian, China. While I was so excited about this amazing, once-in-a-lifetime trip, I also realized I had a problem.
I cannot eat with chopsticks, and I knew forks would probably be hard to find. So, I packed my own forks—after all, I gotta be in control of my meals!
What would happen if you just got still? Would the world as you know it fall apart? Would you?
Sometimes we stay busy to outrun our fear of failure or keep us distracted from thinking. Sometimes, when we are overwhelmed by sorrow or stress, we just long to fix something, clean something … you know, do something!
Without being able to see, I have to risk trusting other people. I have to let go of my perfect timetable and my to-do list. It’s not always easy to let go and trust, but if I don’t choose to risk or release, I truly will never receive what I need.
So, for me, being a blind control freak is completely counterproductive!
As a college student, I volunteered at a youth camp for several summers. Most of the time, I led worship and hung out with the girls, but this night, the altar was full of teenagers and the youth minister asked if I would help counsel. Within 10 seconds of my “yes,” a young man made a beeline to me. He was middle school-aged. I knew his name but that was all I knew. I asked him why he came to the front and he told me it was because he wanted to ask Jesus into his heart.
I reviewed what that meant with him and then asked him to pray with me. “Nope.” was all he said.
Okay, so this is not what I expected! It made no sense. I explained the gospel and asked him again. “Do you want to pray to receive Christ?”
I asked “Do you understand?” He answered, “Nope.”
So, I explained again and thought we had a breakthrough. Again I asked, “Do you want to receive Christ?” You guessed it! “Nope,” was his answer.
I was so frustrated and confused. I hadn’t had much experience with middle school boys, but, seriously? I just couldn’t tell if he was rebellious, pulling my leg or truly didn’t understand.
The youth minister must have seen me looking totally perplexed and helpless so he rushed over.
I begin with a confession: when my life feels out of control, I clean something! Yes. A messy drawer, an unruly closet, under my son’s bed — anything that needs sprucing up becomes therapy for me when I am overly stressed! That’s all well and good until everything is clean and I still feel cluttered on the inside!
Even if you aren’t a “cleaner” when you get stressed, you do something to reduce stress and feel more control — you may be an eater or a shopper or a procrastinator or a crier or an exerciser or… well, we all have our ways of managing when life gets crazy.
But recently, I found myself out of drawers to organize and closets to clean! I was still feeling like stress was bigger than me and had more control than I wanted it to, so I decided to clean out my inbox!