No Control

One thing most people know about me is that I’m, by nature I am an introvert.  As it has been pointed out to me, I’m also really good at being an extrovert when I want to be.  This is true and, on the whole, I like being around people and I like to socialize.  But, as with many things, there is a limit to how far that goes.  As it was also pointed out to me by my friendpastor Ben, I don’t like being in situations where I can’t control the chaos or the noise.  This was actually an apt perception on his part because, without realizing it, I do not like to abdicate my control of a situation so a small group, say 3-5 people is favorable to me rather than a group of 5-10.  When it gets to the latter extreme I start to lose energy from, what I surmise, is an attempt to maintain functionality and control.

I think Donald Miller described it best in his book when he said he was like the battery-powered drill that needed to be charged for 24 hours to work for a mere 10 minutes.  Please know that I’m not that socially handicapped but the concept is more or less the same.  There are some people who are energized by being around the right kind of people and then there are people, like me, who expend energy to the point of exhaustion in the presence of people.  It’s usually caused by a larger group of people in a short amount of time or a smaller group of people over a longer period of time.

The perfect example would be my current living arrangements.  This is not going to be me on a complaining bent about my roommates and how annoying they are.  I’m not that kind of person and this isn’t what my blog is about.  I actually enjoy being around my roommates most of the time but there are those times when I need to recharge.  There is an inherent logical problem with all of that because I live with 6 other guys and whoever else happens to be over visiting.  But I know it’s starting to get to me when I feel that fire building in my gut.

There are two solutions to this problem, I’ve found.  One of them is to get out my notebook and just start scrawling out every thought that’s going through my head to try to figure out what it’s thinking.  When I don’t have the patience, space, or the ability or whatever else I can think of, I go for a walk.  These aren’t your normal walks because normal walks are done during the day time and sometimes you take other people with you.  I don’t know, the only reason I walk is to save gas because I usually drive around when I get restless.  It’s the idea of being in motion that I like, I guess.

One specific time earlier this week I went on a walk to get rid of some pent up frustration I was having with what felt like a waste of my time and that there was nothing I could do about it.  So, I put my headphones in and went out for a walk.  It was about 10:30 PM if I recall correctly so it was dark.  My way was lit only by the streetlamps and the occasional headlight of a car passing by.  Why do I do this at night?  Partially because it scares me.  The night is unknown and, while I live in smaller town, the absence of control as to where, during the day I may have some semblance of control.  But, what I realized this evening was that I never was in control and I never will be.

It was a great relief, this realization.  That, if nothing else I had no control over myself.  You might say, “Well, duh, didn’t you know that all along?”  Of course I did!  But I wasn’t living it and I guess I didn’t believe it, at least not fully.  All things are in the hands of God.  My every step, my every movement is part of something greater than myself and how dare I be prideful enough to say that I can do anything without Him who created me?  The wave of this thought overtook my body and I was calm.  I was really calm for the first time in a while.  I can distinctly remember what I was listening to at that moment and it was amazing:

Lord I feel I’m struggling through this battle
Long for one peaceful day that I can call my own
Anger cast out and left for dead
These lies echo with no remorse
Shadows are a content plague
A Reminder of every failure
I will lay down my soul at your feet
God I feel your calling healer, you are my healer
Worthless and filled with anger
Here’s a chance to prove my worth
Surrounded, I’m surrounded
By sorrow choking the life I praise
Anger is setting in
I’ve lad claim and called you out
Fear starts to battle you with honor pumping through your veins

War of Ages
“My Resting Place”


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