Confessions of a Control Freak
The sparrow has found its home at last, the swallow a nest for its young on your altars, YHWH Sabaoth, My Sovereign, my God! – Psalm 84:3 (Inclusive Bible)
I’m one of those people who loses sleep after staring at screens late into the night. Even though I avoid articles about desperate animals, climate catastrophes, and humanitarian crises, I see the headlines. They stick like burrs after a woodland walk. Sometime around 3 AM, my eyes pop open and I start worrying.
I worry about everything—the struggles of the world, my beloved’s mental health, the old dog’s quality of life—the list is endless. And then, because I’m a control freak (a term I’ve come to…umm…recognize in middle life), I try to figure it out. Come up with solutions. Consider strategies and action plans. Run “If this, then that” equations for hours. In the quiet dark, I get mad then sad then scared then overwhelmed by it all. Sometimes I cry. It can all seem so hopeless.
In those moments, I wish God would fill me with a hope that zings or a Presence that calms the worry storm. That hasn’t happened yet. What I get instead are the words of the psalmist, promising that even the sparrow finds shelter in God’s arms. Sighing, I lift it all to the one who created this beautiful, worrisome world.
And try my best to let go.
Safe Harbor, shelter me from worries. Help me remember that it is you, and not I, that is in charge. Thank you. Amen.
Julie Payne Britton is a Member in Discernment in the Southern New England Conference and graduate from Chicago Theological Seminary.