“How long is your computer running this much slow?”
Imagine this question, swimming in the thick Indian accent of the sweet dell support desk employee who spent 45 minutes trying to salvage my hopelessly sick computer at my internship. Yes – I clicked the link. Oh wait – it’s shutting down now. Or is it? Hang on – spell the website one more time. Well, I can’t open the web page any more anyways. $200? My supervisor will love that. Nevermind – I’ll just find a new computer. Or etch my research notes on stone tablets – I think that’ll be faster.
Some days you’re the windshield and some days you’re the bug. This morning I was the bug. Squashed by an eighteen-wheeler of computer viruses, driven by an injured foot and rescheduled, chaotic doctor’s appointment, with a windshield of living arrangement confusion. Biking frantically to the doctor, thighs burning from that dad gum capitol hill, my mind raced through all the reasons rapidly piling atop one another for me to be an absolute grumpapotomus. I just couldn’t seem to win – I worked so hard and tried with everything in me to make the best choice. But there I was – at the doctor for an appointment I scheduled for the wrong day, missing hours of interning I would have to make up with a computer that actively resists work efforts.
It was too much – sobbing, I called my patient dad from the waiting room. Breathe. Look at everything that’s going on, piece by piece, and break them down. Within the hour, the influx of emotion had subsided. My mind was free of the web of emotion that was, until now, trapping me in frantic thoughts racing toward nothing but increased frustration and anxiety. I was myself again – able to smile at the gift of a nurse the Lord brought me as I waited for the doctor.
Turns out some people are “hyper sensitive.” Born that way! We feel everything more intensely, and for longer than everyone else. Apparently about 20% of the population is like this! According to a biosocial theory, this genetic predisposition, coupled with stifling environmental factors, results in coping mechanisms like eating disorders and substance abuse.
Oh. It was another piece to add the puzzle of this whole process – trying to figure out what caused it, and how to deal with it. But as I enjoy the sun and a delicious plum after a hectic morning, I’m reminded of why I called my blog “Illusive Control” in the first place.
Mainly because “the illusion of control” was already taken. So was “illusion of control.” Shoot – then I had to get creative and apparently no one uses domain names with made-up words. Understandable. “Illusive” is the remix of “elusive” and “illusion,” both perfectly applicable to one of the many myriad things the Lord has shown me through this disorder. My sweet therapist (I still can’t shake the weirdness of referring to all of these doctors!) once told me that control is an illusion – God has control. We just think we do.
This takes me back to Plan II philosophy, where we spent a year debating whether or not our hands are real. Influential stuff – really. I don’t think we ever reached a conclusion, but we spent a lot of time looking at what we observe and how that relates to what actually happens. Life with Christ is a lot like that – to me, it looks like I can handle anything and manipulate anything to make it work. I was convinced that if I fought hard enough, read my bible sufficiently, prayed hard enough, and worked with the right people, I could make anything happen.
But today the Lord reminded me that this was an illusion all along. Even in the moments when I think I can control my situation, my authority over my circumstances is so elusive, slipping out of my grasp at any given moment with the crash of a computer or the scheduling error of an appointment.
This is just another beautiful reminder of the freedom into which He has ushered me through this. What solace to be found in knowing that I don’t have control! My impaired decision-making ability and roller coaster of emotions are the last things I want running my life. John Piper writes about a major flaw in Christian culture in that we are not hedonistic enough. God has in store for us so much more than we could ever hope or imagine! Why would I desperately cling to my own plans when God has something better up His sleeve?? What I saw as a pain in the rear of a doctor’s fiasco the Lord used to bring me a nurse who endearingly confirmed my beauty and perfectly proportionate weight. He took a failed computer and turned it into time spent with our intern coordinator and in conversation with co-workers. He took initial frustration over roommates to provide a perfect living situation next door to one of my most incredible, dearest friends in an environment perfect for ministry. Control is not my own – it’s my heavenly Daddy’s and I am so glad!