Do you like to have control over your life . . . like where you live, sleep, eat, work, worship? I do! I’m kind of the queen of control – so much so that I alphabetize my spice rack because order makes me feel in control.
Our army family just moved from one Washington to the other. We uprooted from the Washington, D.C. suburbs and made a cross-country drive to Joint Base Lewis McChord, Washington. Moving can be hive-inducing for control freaks like me because the process rips from us the normal control we are used to exercising over our lives. Very tangibly, your life ceases to be your own: you don’t know where you’ll sleep or eat; who your new friends will be and how long it will take to make them; if your kids will mesh well in their new schools; whether your household goods will arrive unbroken, and if they do; whether your old furniture will fit in your new house.
We started our move in late-June and continue to live in a hotel efficiency apartment while we await quarters on post.
During week one of the move, we watched nervously as the packers unceremoniously boxed possessions that we have curated over decades. I grew anxious as the movers stacked everything into an already half-full moving van, and I couldn’t help but jump in and give direction on how to stack my furniture so that it might have a better chance of arriving intact.
Our drive was a whirlwind. (Though it was beautiful. Check out my Instagram to see pictures from our trip.) One morning I woke up and could not remember if I had slept in Iowa or Nebraska. It turned out to be neither – we were in South Dakota!
This move, I have tried to surrender and re-surrender my instinct to control an uncontrollable situation. After learning yesterday that our household goods delivery is being delayed, I felt pretty out of control — and to be perfectly honest — cranky. I popped over to daily Mass to try and re-re-re-surrender this struggle because somewhere in my control freak heart, I know that God’s got this.
And here’s what I heard at Mass:
“When hunger came to be felt throughout the land of Egypt and the people cried out to Pharaoh for bread, Pharaoh directed all the Egyptians to go to Joseph and do whatever he told them.” (Gn 41:55).
Do whatever he told them – those five words sent my brain straight to the Wedding at Cana, when the party had run out of wine, and Mary told the steward, “Do whatever he tells you” (Jn 2:6).
At this point in my life, Jesus is telling our family, “Trust me. Yes, your house is in boxes in a warehouse. True, you’re not sure where to send the kids to school next year. But do whatever I tell you. And right now, I’m telling you to trust me.”
What is he telling you?