Control.

It’s really no surprise that an NFL aficionado like myself would pick up former NFL player and coach Tony Dungy’s book, Quiet Strength, and decide, “Yep, that’s the book for me to read over Christmas break 2017.” I do love a good biography and since purchasing the book at the Willow Creek Leadership Summit that Tony spoke at back in 2010, it has sat on my bookshelf starting me down – literally. The front cover is a picture of Tony when he was the head coach of the Colt’s (look at my NFL knowledge – it’s blowing your mind isn’t it?!) with headset on and a stern look on his face that conveys, “Pick up this book and read it…. NOW! Hut! Hut! Hike!”

To be honest, I really am not that much of an NFL fan. I do LOVE going to Seahawks games and watching the Super Bowl halftime shows and of course I get Derek’s weekly Fantasy Football updates but that is the extent. However, I felt a nudge to pick this book up from my shelf and take it with me to Palm Springs this past month. Within the first few pages, I could tell already why I felt God prompt me to take this book. It is a leadership book that is different than most.  It focuses on leadership through service and an unwavering dedication to that which really matters in life. Tony wrote, “We often can’t see what God is doing in our lives, but God sees the whole picture and His plan for us clearly.”

I know Tony was not the first, and will not be the last, to attest to the simple truth that God sees the whole picture, but for some reason over Christmas that simple truth made me pause.

Often I get caught up in the busyness of everyday life. Mornings start with an alarm clock named Stella coming into our room at an unconscionable hour, prying us from delicious slumber and the day is off to a blazing start. Lists are crossed off, errands are ran and life doesn’t stop until the dishwasher is empty, the dryer is on and Gerry our dog has gone out for one last pit stop.

In the midst of the haste I think I know what I want for my future, but I get carried away in the need for control. I feel my shoulders tensing all day long just hoping everything goes according to plan and nothing gets derailed.  Then I read words like Tony’s and I breath a massive sigh of relief, resting in the knowledge that it’s not my story after all, it’s God’s story. He constructed a narrative for me long before I ever existed on earth, a plan He handcrafted uniquely for me, a story where He already worked out the kinks and details, a journey that will allow me to rest in the assurance that I am daily living out my life purpose.

There is a song I have been listening to called Control by Tenth Avenue North that ties in this concept of God having a plan for my life and having the knowledge of knowing He has a plan for me to give Him control of my life.

I’ve had plans

Shattered and broken

Things I have hoped in

Fall through my hands

You have plans

To redeem and restore me

You’re behind and before me

Oh help me believe

 

God You don’t need me

But somehow You want me

Oh how You love me

Somehow that frees me

To take my hands off of my life

And the way it should go

God You don’t need me

But somehow You want me

Oh how You love me

Somehow that frees me

To open my hands up

And give You control

God has a plan for my life and His plan is exponentially more amazing than any plan of mine. In Ephesians 3:20 Paul describes all that God is able to do in each one of us as “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine”.

Just think about that for a second.

Imagine your most incredible, far reaching dreams.  Imagine the things that seem impossible to you right now, aspirations that seem like wishful thinking….do you have some of those hopes and dreams in your mind ? Those pale in comparison to what God has in store for you! The only question that remains is: are we willing to give up control and let Him do what He has the power to do in our lives?

Life unfolds better than I could ever imagine every time I intentionally stop myself in the busyness of life and picture myself in my car (which is a metaphor for my life), taking my white knuckle gripped hands off the wheel of control, exiting my body out of the driver’s seat, opening the door and going around to the passengers side, sinking into the seat, and allowing God to take control of the wheel. Every. Single. Time.

So today, I encourage you to take Tony’s advice.  Be the passenger. Go along for the drive! Trust Him, He’s got the only map you’ll ever need.  You’ll go to places far beyond anything you’ve imagined.