I’m a control freak.
I’ve always wanted things to go according to plan, and to make sure it does, I’m usually the one who makes a conscious effort to plan meet-ups with friends. From reservations for the café to getting ideal seats – middle seats of the middle row – in the movie theatre, I made sure things were well-planned.
But in the occasion things didn’t go according to plan … I’d get really anxious and frustrated.
I’ve always believed in the importance of organisation and structure. The world would surely collapse into chaos without meticulous planning! Whatever I did, wherever I went, I made it a point to ensure there was a plan for everything.
According to the Myers Briggs personality test, about 44% of the world’s population are planners by nature. We are especially fearful of the unknown. We want to safely know what is going to happen in the future.
But I had to draw a line. Yes, it’s a good thing to have structure and plans. And it’s a good thing to have one eye on the future, but not when it causes anxiety.
When things don’t go as planned, we can take it as a timely reminder that we’re not in control of everything. But God is!
There was an occasion when I was assigned to cover a media event with my friend. She overslept and failed to answer my calls. I, on the other hand, was early and already waiting at the location. After 12 missed calls, she finally picked up and told me she would be cabbing to the location.
When I found out she was going to be changing the plan, I could feel the frustration and anger simmering within me.
We’re going to be late! This isn’t fair, I could have spent more time in bed.
Although I was frustrated and stressed because of the uncertainty she introduced into our assignment, I decided instead to make use of the waiting time.
So instead of grumbling and lamenting like I usually do, I pulled out my unfinished assignments and worked on them. Because I realised had two choices to make.
- Spend time fretting over the problems that might happen
- Make use of the time to complete other tasks
Ultimately, though she was late, things actually turned out not so bad. So I was reminded of God’s sovereignty over everything that happens. When things don’t go as planned, we can take it as a timely reminder that we’re not in control of everything. But God is!
Ever done a “trust fall”? It takes faith to be able to trust that He is in control: That all that happens – happens for a reason. It takes faith and humility to believe that our finite human mind is unable to comprehend God’s greater plans. We simply have to trust in His timing and ways.
We can always choose how we will respond. When things don’t go the way we want them to, we can choose to trust in God or try to change the situation by our own ability.
“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34)
God has His plans for each and every day. If you’re a planner like me, don’t be anxious about tomorrow. Learn to trust in His plans for our future.