Confessions of a control freak

2015/01/img_4042.jpgThere is no getting away from the fact that I always want to be in control. But sometimes the Lord puts us in situations where I am not in control at all. Instead of being in a boat heading purposely out to sea I feel like a piece of drift wood at the mercy of the waves upon the beach.

If someone offers to take us to the airport, for example, I always have a plan B in mind in case something goes wrong. I like to plan an itinerary to the nearest minute.

I think that if I’ve got a guardian angel he/she is having a laugh. For here I am in Jaffna, and things just happen, I am not in control, but IT REALLY DOES NOT MATTER.

The fact is, of course, that we cannot control our own lives. There are just too many possibilities, and too many ways for the situation to vary. We cannot plan for every eventuality. We would need a plan B, and a plan Z and so on.


I am learning to relax, and trust God in every situation. I don’t think that God has a detailed plan for the minutia of everyday living. His plan for my life is flexible to allow for my free will, the actions of others, and sometimes wrong choices being made.

Trusting God is the answer. Giving Him the control of our lives sets us free. Trust when things go right and trust when things seem to go wrong.

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28)

Now this verse is sometimes quoted glibly but it is very profound and incredibly true. At the time we may struggle to see it working out in practice. Why, for instance did I have a stroke 10 years ago. God didn’t plan that, and only time will show what good came out of it. But I have to trust: the alternative is despair.

So here I am in Jaffna, relaxing but not being sure what the day will bring. Tomorrow we ‘plan’ to travel to Kandy by train and car. I expect things will go like clockwork but, I say to myself, “keep trusting”.

Author: George Dowdell

I was the founder of Karuna Action (formerly Kingscare) and was the director for 24 years. I have now handed control over to younger people but continue as an advisor and trustee. My passion is to see extreme poverty eliminated and to see justice for the powerless.

3 thoughts on “Confessions of a control freak”

  1. You need a plan B….especially in Sri Lanka!!
    But yes, trusting God is the key in every situation. I didn’t “plan” all the sudden changes that happened to me. Also, on Sunday the sermon at Church was on “What we do when our situation doesn’t match our expectations.”
    Hmmm….I think Gd is trying to say something to me here 😉


  2. Trust in God, but remember he also gave you a brain. Maybe one of your gifts is helping people through tough times with your planning and organization. Just don’t be too anal retentive and turn folks off. God also gave us a sense of humor, so laugh at yourself when you get too stressed when things don’t go well.


  3. Trust leads to rest and its the rest that enables you to see what God is doing because your not running around like a headless chicken trying to fix things or be in control. So what ever you both are doing enjoy it, even if its nothing. From a friend and a slow learner.


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