When we have lost control...
Praise the LORD!
Praise the LORD, O my soul!
I will praise the LORD as long as I live;
I will sing praises to my God all my life long.
~ Psalm 146:1 -2
When I first went to work in the corporate world after college, I realized within the first few years that I was a complete micro manager! Not just a little. A whole lot!I
f there was a problem in the company I worked for, and it was within the area that I had been assigned, it wasn't solved with just a phone call. No! I got into my car and often went to where the issue was located to fix it, and living in Wyoming at the time, I sometimes drove hundreds of miles to solve it. The end result wasn't always the best solution. Many times it left me tired, and with no time to do the real job that I had effectively.
I think that is the gift of youth. I had the energy to do all of that!
Even as I aged it didn't necessarily get any better. I soon wanted to know exactly what my kids were up to. I monitored computer use, made sure I met friends, and even made sure clothing was appropriate. Yes, I was ONE OF THOSE dads!
It wasn't until I found myself in a bad relationship, in a health crisis, and unable to care for myself that I suddenly had a real dose of reality. There are simply things in this world that I cannot control.
As I look back, I ask God, "So, you think that you could have found an easier way for me to learn this fact?"
You see, it wasn't so much God's doing. I'm part of the human race, and to put it simply, sometimes we mess up and we must learn to live with what has happened. It's an imperfect world, filled with imperfect people, and sometimes that imperfection can really control our lives. We can't fix everything.
I would learn that as a chaplain. I was paged to the labor and delivery area of the hospital I was working one day. The page was in response to a code that was in progress. An infant girl, just two days old, was experiencing cardiac arrest. As I watched the team work on the tiny baby, I stood beside the young parents. The father was only 18 and the mother 16. As they watched, the doctor looked at me. I will never forget her eyes. We had worked together for some time, and the look that she gave me let me know that there was nothing in our control.
I turned to the young father and said, "Your daughter needs you to be her daddy right now. I'm so sorry, but you need to make a decision. The team is going to keep trying, but this is not going to turn out well, or the way you hoped."
Her father responded, "I thought that we would have her longer."
"Every father hopes that he will have his daughter longer, but every father, at some point, must learn to let go."
We must learn that the only real thing that we have control of is the love that we have for one another and for God. The rest, well let me just say, and even to remind myself, sometimes we simply can't do anything about. I can't tell you how many times when our hospice team discusses a patient and the patient's family that we share, "There is nothing we can do to put this in a box and tie it up with a pretty bow."
I wish that I had some words of faith, or encouragement that would somehow make sense, or restore some ability to make the changes that we hope for, but sometimes, we must learn to let it go.
Years ago someone told me to, "Let go and let God."
As much as I would like to partner with God to still have some control, the response time and time again, is this... "I am with you always... even unto the ends of the earth."
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2020
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Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.