Beyond Our Control


It’s a hard fact for some of us to admit, but some things really are “beyond our control.”

That’s especially true when referring to people. Whether it’s the neighbor who plays their music loud at 12am in the morning (got one of those myself), or the co-worker that spends most of their time on social media when they should be working, or a friend or family member who is clearly running their life off in a ditch and everyone seems to know it but them, some things are just out of our control.

If you’re like me, it drives you crazy.

As I lay awake last night, listening to the pounding on my wall from the music next door, I was on the edge. Maybe it was the lack of sleep from the time change of daylight savings the day before, or the fact that I had just found that comfy position and was finally falling asleep when I was jolted awake, but I could see a nervous breakdown in my very near future.

In desperation, I began to pray. At first, it was for the destruction of my neighbor’s sound system, but alas, God doesn’t really honor those kinds of prayers. Probably for good reason.

Instead, I fired up the computer, in a feeble attempt to distract myself, and also to search for answers. I’m not sure what I was looking for, but google knows everything, right? So, why not start there.

I came across a message board on how to deal with noisy neighbors, and though there were a lot of suggestions, some more unsavory than others but that made for a good read, I didn’t find what I was looking for. Except maybe some ideas for my next novel. Maybe google doesn’t know everything.

I tried praying again. This time my prayer changed. “God, change my heart. Make me a better person, a more tolerant person.”

The truth is, we can’t change others and their actions. We can’t even control our own actions half the time, what makes us think we can control others. What makes us think we have the right to?

It’s fitting that this prayer is in sync with my word for the year: “Surrender.”

And I’ll keep surrendering, over and over until I finally get it right. It isn’t about the goal as much as it’s about the journey. I think it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

How do you get through when things are beyond your control?


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