My husband is somewhat obsessed with cruise control. He uses it whenever he can, from the 20-minute trip home from work to the 2-hour trip up north to visit our families. If there’s a stretch of road long enough to use it, he will. Sometimes he’ll even turn it on in between signals on the roads in town.
It drives me crazy.
I detest cruise control. There is something completely unnerving to me about the idea that the car is DRIVING ITSELF. What if you need to stop suddenly? What if you relax too much and accidentally fall asleep and the car pummels into a tree? What if the cruise control takes over and you can’t ever stop?! No, I am not a fan. I prefer choosing my own speed and maintaining control of the gas and the brake, thank you very much. On the rare occasion that I convince myself that cruise control might possibly be a safe idea (read: all I can see in front of me is road and there are no cars around for miles), my right foot hovers an inch above the brake pedal. Just. In. Case.
Unfortunately, this is also my default for life. Keep your eyes on the road. Stay a safe distance behind the cars ahead of you. Protect yourself. Do not relinquish control. And I’m tired. So tired.
This fight to be in control all the time, it’s exhausting. And it’s deceptive. It disguises itself as preparedness, responsibility, wisdom. All good things. But so often the preparedness is really fear, the responsibility and wisdom really pride. My plan, my way, and nothing bad will happen.
Every day though, I’m learning more and more that it’s a pointless struggle. Sometimes, you can plan all you want and still get lost. Sometimes, you can drive responsibly and a truck still appears out of nowhere. Sometimes, things just don’t go your way, no matter how hard you try to make them cooperate.
We have to surrender. We have to let go. We have to realize we are never really in control anyways. Thankfully, we have a truly wise, loving God who is. A God who is able to do immeasurably more with our lives than we could ask or imagine. A God who has big plans for each of us. A God who can see beyond our windshield and all the way down the road.
See, this controlling nature of mine, it keeps my life small, manageable, easy. I can handle it. I can take care of myself and my family. I don’t need anyone else. And I think I’m happy, but I’m not. I want more. I’m made for more, and so are you. We are not called to live small, manageable lives. We are called to live lives of risk and faith and obedience, following the One who works everything together in His unending wisdom. The safest thing of all is to let go and trust Him.
While I’m not condoning unsafe driving in any way, I do think my husband has the right idea. (He usually does.) I could stand to use the cruise control a little more often. How about you? Let the car do what it was made to do. Relax and enjoy the ride. While it will probably still be bumpy (let’s just be honest), we can know with certainty that we put our trust in the only One who knows the road and guides us safely home.
Are you struggling to relinquish “control” of something today? How can I pray for you?
By Kayse Pratt, Finding HopeLeave a Comment
I don’t even know where to begin…”WOW!!” is really all that comes to mind! And “Surely we must have met at some point…There is no doubt in my mind you wrote this article SPECIFICALLY for me!”
What a whopper of an impact! Thank you!
Thank you, Tabby! So glad it meant something to you. Praying for you as we both try to figure this thing out!
Amy Hunt says
This was so good, Kayse! Admittedly, I can totally relate, and you found the words for my living. I’ve been thinking a lot about how we are never in control, we never know what’s coming and we can never be prepared and how fear is really what is our driving force, often times. We do need to surrender and just live, as you suggest. What freeing reminders! What strong and powerful writing of yours!
Rich blessings, Kayse, as you continue to trust in your Father for your living…
What an encouragement you are! Thank you so much for your kind words. The Lord is definitely working on me in this area of surrender and trust!
I often feel that if I would just work a bit harder or be a bit more efficient, control would be withing my reach. What a great reminder that this is not the case and that a small, manageable life is not what we were made for anyway. I often feel a longing for more and you described so well what it is that I need to reach for: Risk, faith, obedience.
I hear you. It seems like there’s always at least one more thing I can do to make my life better, to have it all under control. It’s so hard to make myself stop and let go, so completely against my nature! Thank God that He continues to make all things new!
“The safest thing of all is to let go and trust Him.”
oh to be able to know this deep in my soul… it is getting there
thank-you for this post.
Sometimes it just takes so long for our heart to catch up with our head, right? I’m getting there too. 🙂 Blessings to you on your journey!
Great post written for this “control freak.” Thanks!
Thanks so much, from THIS “control freak”! I hope your day today is full of blessings from our trustworthy Father!
Well, as the others have said “what a great post” and it really hit home as I also struggle with relinquishing control. I am very much a planner and like things right where I can manage them but God desires more from us as you stated.
He has been dealing with me on this issue for a while and he is ever so patient with me as I am learning to “let go” and truly trust him. I have to understand that I can TRUST him and I have to use that fact to put fear in it’s place.
Thanks for sharing.
Thank you so much for sharing your heart! I love your words about putting fear in its place. Such truth. And I, too, am so grateful for our patient and faithful Father!
Carol Gannon says
Wow, you never cease to amaze me Kayse girl! You are such a blessing and testimony of the what God is all about. I so appreciate your heart towards God as it spurs me on to love him more. Your communication through writing is fantastic and inspirational. I love your post and love your stories. May you feel how proud your mom and your heavenly Father are of you always! Love, Carol
Carol! Thank you so much, my friend. Your words mean more than you know. 🙂
Nicole Smith says
I love this, Kayse. Thank you so much for sharing. I cannot imagine my life in anyone’s hands, even my own, over God’s. I love Him dearly, and trust Him with my life. It’s so amazing to me that the One who sees it all, who plans it all, holds my little life in His hands. That He cares that much about me. About us. I want nothing more than His will for my life!
Thank you again, this truly spoke to my heart!
How inspirational are your words! You are so right – the fact that the Lord cares so deeply about us is something I want to revel in every day, but so often I take it for granted. Thanks for the reminder. 🙂 Blessings to you!
Aunt C says
Going to try really hard to turn off my own “cruise control” . Your writings are an inspiration, thanks Kayse. Very proud of you.
Kimberly Graesser says
Found this post when Dave shared it on his FB (I’m Mel’s sister-in-law) and I have to say I’m so glad I did! You’re so right Kayse!
What a wonderful lesson as I struggle with humility in the everyday things and learning how to let go of perfectionism. Thanks!
Thank you Kayse! This was really inspiring for me. You have such a gift of words. I can totally relate as well, and I just really need to give that up to God with everything in my life. I make myself sick trying to control things in my life as well as my husbands, and I just have to give it up and go along for the ride.
Great words Kayse. I truly needed this reminder to let God be in control. So many big things coming down the road for my family and I am definitely gripping the wheel tight thinking I am in control. I love you and miss seeing you and talking with you everyday. I am also so excited for this opportunity you have to share your God given talent of encouragement through your writing with others. Blessings to you and your precious family!
Such a good word – and such a big struggle for me. I especially liked “This fight to be in control all the time, it’s exhausting. And it’s deceptive. It disguises itself as preparedness, responsibility, wisdom. All good things. But so often the preparedness is really fear, the responsibility and wisdom really pride. My plan, my way, and nothing bad will happen.” I am exhausted trying to control an area of my life so I don’t feel any more pain in a relationship. Pray for me to surrender and let God do his PERFECT work.
Praying for you now! Thank you so much for sharing. Blessings to you!!
Lisa Carlos says
I have said it before and I will say it again…”I am so proud of you!” What a beautiful testament to what God has showed you. What makes it better, is He used your husband, your help mate, to bring it to light. I miss you so much, and I am so thankful for your wonderful blog that makes me feel like your only a couple classrooms away!
Love, Lisa a.k.a “Leader of the Control Freak Club”
I definitely needed this article right now. Thank you so much for sharing.
Jami Kastner says
GREAT post! Spoke right to my heart! I have a hard time letting go of control as well. So thanks for the reminder.
Traffic, Maps, and a GPS Named Cindy says
Sharon Piatt says
I have not thought of being prepared as a lack of trusting God. I see your point… to what extent do I responsibly need to be prepared, and do I take it too far into relying on myself rather than my Father?
Thanks for a great post and food for thought!