I have recently been pondering many difficult questions of life. Yet, I wonder, as difficult as these are, how important are they? How much of our life is spent in deep despair, consternation or just plain aggravation over things with no lasting eternal value.
As I contemplate that, I begin to go through the rather major events in my life right now. A lot has changed. A lot is changing. A lot more will change when I least expect it. This leaves me unsettled as I detest change. I hate it. I am sure most of us would say the same thing. Change leaves us unsettled and uncertain. Even good change brings with it a certain amount of sadness.
Over the last 4 years or so, I have endured more change than I thought was possible. Some good, some incredibly painful and some down right angrifying. (Like that, I couldn’t think of a good word.) And I know that above many people’s problem with change, I have to add an additional problem that others may not. I like to have control.
I know, we all do, right? Who doesn’t want to choose what we watch on TV or eat for dinner? Frankly, me. I don’t care about those things, but things that seem of vital importance to me, well, I want them done my way. Not just done well, done well my way.
I am a perfectionist. I demand perfection in myself and fail to achieve it every time. I know perfect is impossible, but I never feel as though I’ve done it well enough. I don’t demand perfection of others, in fact I tend to give much grace, too much I’ve been told.
So, what is my point? I warned you in the header, this is a blog of my ramblings, you might want to stop while you are still ahead.
My point, as you ask, is I have recently been, well accused is a bit harsh. Let’s say that it has been said of me that I am a “controlling woman”. I hardly can say that without laughing!
Now you are confused. I can see it in your eyes. Ok, I can’t really see your eyes, but I’m just guessing. “How can a woman who admits she likes to be in control laugh at the thought of being a controlling woman?”
Good question. So I’ve been asking myself. If I really think this assessment of me is wrong, yet I openly admit to anyone interested enough to listen or read my blog (so a whole like 8 people) that I like to be in control, how can I be upset by being labelled a “Controlling Woman”?
Oh, wait, you are waiting for the answer? Well, I’m not sure I have it entirely. But I have spent the day pondering this very thing. Because right now in my world, it really matters to me. And it just might matter to others that matter to me. (See, I started a sentence with But, Because and And. Rule breaker!!! Sorry, humor me, it’s late.)
Here’s what I think. I think we all want some control. We all want things to go the right way. Most of us think we know what that way is. Some others of you are blessed with the gift of “it doesn’t really matter”. Some of use are not. So we make mountains of mole hills and control everything within our grasps. Yet I have a huge respect for chain of command and line of authority. I will complain, disagree and petition to be heard, but if the boss says “Do this” I do this. And I attempt (though often fail) to do this, without complaint.
So I guess I want to be heard. And I want to know that my voice counts. And I want to know that the authority to whom I am submitting shares my conviction in the area in which I have submitted.
So I want to be heard. Do I insist on having it my way? Honestly, no. I like it my way. But if the authority has heard me out and shares my heart, then I trust them and follow, knowing that it will work out in the end and this “issue” must be one of those of no eternal value type problems.
Which brings us to the present. I have recently found myself in a leadership role within my church. It is not a new role for me, it is one in which I have functioned in the past and managed with some degree of success. In the interest of full disclosure, I was not asked to take this role, I chose to take it. This does help make the point of my “Controlling woman”ness. In the past when I have had this role, I have had a clear leader to whom I could turn that held the authority and I served under her (or him) with the authority bestowed upon me. Now I serve under a ruling board that I respect and admire. But there is not mediator between us. This makes me nervous. I don’t want that much authority. See, I want to be heard, and I’m willing to step up and do a needed job. I’m willing to manage people and events (just not laundry). But I don’t want to be the top authority reporting directly to the boss. I want to be down one on the food chain. This is an uncomfortable place.
I don’t strive for “power”. I don’t even really like it. Not really. I strive for quality. I know I have some skills and gifts given to me by God for His purposes, I just don’t want to be the big boss. I want to be kind of in charge of some stuff, allowed the privilege to serve and listened to when my “expertise” is helpful.
Even in my home, I am not a controlling wife. I manage (I chuckle as I type that) my home and make a huge portion of the daily running decisions, but I never, ever tell my husband what to do. I make suggestions. Sometimes forcefully. But I never let his decision to do something different cause division. I know that it isn’t worth it. I’ve seen what I’m like when I let our disagreements on something as silly as room color eat at me. I’m not willing to go there in my marriage. Usually. I’m not perfect, but I see how not important most “arguements” are.
See, I haven’t forgotten, though you probably have, where we started. I have come full circle. I think what the difference between being controlling and having a desire to be in control is all about the perspective. I know, or try to, the things that are eternally important. When I begin making mountains out of mole hills, I begin to slide toward that controlling personality. When I get a grip and look at life in regards to the eternal value of the issue, I begin to slide back to the “I want input, but will follow the leader” side.
Now, if I could learn to control the environment directly around me (aka my home) as much as I would like to control the world, I’d be set.