What is behind our need for Control?

In this process of getting at what is really is at the root of control, I have found this statement very helpful, “I don’t really control to get my own way as much as to avoid how bad I will feel if I do not get my own way.”   – David Ricco

Ricco goes on to talk about the fact that we feel a sense of grief when we often feel a sense of grief when things don’t turn out the way we hoped they would.  Enter into this story with me if you will.  A little girls parents divorce and she goes to live with one of them.  The other parent moves out of town and occasionally calls to tell the little girl that she will visit soon.  The little girl plays in her mind over and over what it will be like when her mom comes to pick her up.  The call comes in that from her mom that she is going to pick her up for the weekend.  The little girl lays out her clothes and packs her bag with anticipation of a wonderful weekend with her mom.  She watches the clock as the hours slowly pass anxiously awaiting her mom’s arrival.  Fifteen minutes before the anticipated arrival the little girl goes out and sits on the porch swing with her bag.  6:00 comes, no car.  6:15 comes, no car.  At 6:22 her dad comes out with the phone is his hand to explain that her mom had something come up and can’t make it this weekend.  What the little girl feels at her core is grief, but anger and sadness are what immediate reaction.

Fast forward that scene 20 years and that feeling of grief still remains somewhere deep down in the little girls heart.  She tells herself, subconsciously, that she has to control outcomes in her life in order to avoid the hurt and pain that she experienced as a young girl.  It makes sense why many of us try to control outcomes.  Jesus desperately wants to enter into those deep places of grief, heal our hearts, and have us trust Him with all of the outcomes in our lives.

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