I find this great need for control in my own life constantly. Recently we went on our staff retreat. We always handle some items of business on the way to wherever we’re staying. This year we took a personality test. Yep, that’s right! I suppose we were trying to see if any us actually had a personality. Anyway, one of my strongest personality markers is the melancholic temperament. The melancholic temperament, according to the little handout Brian gave us when we took the test, is perfectionistic and (you guessed it) always likes to be in control. You know, when I first read that, I was in denial a bit. I don’t need to be in control, and I am certainly not perfectionistic. I remain calm, cool and collected, no matter what is going on, at least, that’s what I told myself.
But then, the next morning, I went downstairs early to work out. Now my room was located on one end of the lodge at Ridgecrest and the fitness room was all the way down at the other end of the complex. I took the walk from my room (a workout in itself), and made it to the room. I worked out for about 30 minutes I took my room key with me. After a good hard 30 minutes I took the long walk back to the room, feeling good about myself . . . until I almost back to my room. It was then I realized that I had left my room key in the fitness center. Not only could I not get back into my room, I would not be able to get into the fitness center to retrieve the room key unless someone in the fitness room interrupted their work out to come and open the door for me. I felt really dumb! In fact I could feel myself getting mad over it. Isn’t it amazing how the gentle Holy Spirit can just point things out to you when you least expect it? Right in the middle of that experience I just heard the Lord saying in my spirit, “Do you really thing that everything in your life has to go perfectly? Really? Maybe you do have a problem with control. Maybe you are a perfectionist.” You know what I also noticed? When I am insisting on control or I am angry about something that’s going wrong, I am not very joyful. I am usually expressing frustration with my circumstances, not confidence in God.