In today’s post to his blog, Jack’s Winning Words, Pastor Freed used this quote –
“Life was made up of things you couldn’t control…Life wasn’t what you made it. You were what life made you.” (Sara Zarr)
There is certainly a lot of truth in that quote. But, I would submit that it is rather defeatist in tone. Life throws unexpected twists and turns at you; things that you can’t control; however, you do control how you react to those events, and it is in those reactions that one finds out who they really are. The events of life do not make you anything, they just present opportunities for you to learn and adapt and grow as a person.
It usually takes a person many years to realize that they can’t control things in life and to let go of that “need” to try to control things. That realization is part of the “wisdom” of older people. Once one stops trying to control the events of life, they are better able to take control of themselves and can focus more on their reactions to those events.
The opposite of believing that you can control everything is the thought that God controls everything, and you are just along for the ride. A healthier middle ground is to believe that God allows everything in life to happen, but he also gives us the faith and strength to endure those events.
While you cannot control the events of life, you can take control of you and your reactions to those events. You can ask God to strengthen your faith to help to endure and persevere through those events. We already know that God will help, for he told us in Isaiah 41:10 – “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Armed with faith in the promise of God’s help, one might look life in the eye and say “Bring it on, I’m ready.” In that case, it makes sense to change the last line of Zarr’s quote to read – “You are what you made of life.“
With God’s help, take control of you.