It seems only right and fair to acknowledge after a post on routine that my love of routine and my comfort in it is merely a symptom of my continued love of control. Routine allows me to believe - however wrongly - that I am in control of my life, that I can survive what life brings, if only I can anticipate correctly. It is a way of living with my hands clenched around my own ideas for what life should be - even more damaging, it is a way of living with my hands clenched around my idea of who I should be.
This is a besetting sin for me. Do I cling to control less now than I did years ago? Yes. But its hold on me sneaks up and surprises me, disguised as it is by other things (like routine).
In talking with a friend last week about homeschooling, I realized how far I have come - even in just a few months - about adjusting and adapting. I shed some of my preconceived notions because another way worked better for A and I. Others I dropped because they weren't working. Or were too restrictive. My approach to literature? Loose at best for this year. I've basically provided good books - and lots of them - for A to read. The books often link to the history we are studying at the time, but I don't require book reports, papers or projects very often. Grammar? That curriculum is on the shelf, lessons half done. A hated it. The fact that it's called "analytical" should have tipped me off - it's just a bit too much like math. Math itself we've stuck with, but progress has been in fits and starts with testing upon us. I've seen my willingness to be flexible, my lack of resistance to improvisation as evidence that I am less controlling than I used to be. And perhaps I am.
But today I've been face to face with the fact that my desire for control may have lessened its grip on my heart, but still lurks around the corner, waiting to weave its way back into my thinking. I started writing this blog post between dropping B off at one church to sing and attending first service at our church. I knew I'd chosen the right topic when I opened the bulletin and read this:
As we continue our Lenten journey, we focus on stewardship. For followers of Jesus, stewardship is our outward expression of His discipleship: an ordering of life that puts all that we have under Christ's rule. As you prepare your heart for worship this morning and for this Holy Week, consider how you are responding to Christ's blessings. Are you allowing God to have a voice in your life as you manage your time, your talents and your money?Or am I instead clenching my hands around Christ's blessings, trying to wrest control away from him?