I Usually Prefer to Be the Driver
Having just checked the term "control freak" in the dictionary, I'm suddenly less inclined to write what I was about to write. I resent the suggestion that I have a "near obsessive desire for order and control of self, others, surroundings, etc." Straightening a few paintings in hotel rooms does not amount to a "near obsessive desire for order," nor does rearranging books when a bookstore is displaying them in something other than alphabetical order. I'm simply doing the next customer a favour, making books easier to find. I mean, it's called "alphabetical order" for a reason.
Nevertheless, I was going to begin by confessing to being a bit of a control freak, which it seems I am. Just a bit. Enough that I prefer driving to being a passenger. I'd prefer the same on a plane, but, not having a pilot's licence, I'm forced to let someone else do the driving. As a result, I was for a long time a rather nervous flyer. (My fear of flying went away after a computer simulator taught me the basics of controlling...er, piloting an aircraft.)
Having mild control-freak tendencies also makes parenting marginally more nervewracking than it might otherwise be. Parents worry. When I, then the father of three teenagers, asked my mum when you stop worrying about your children, she, the mother of four adults, replied, "I'll let you know." That instinct to fret about the health and welfare of one's offspring is somewhat more insistent if you happen to be a control freak. So when my son spent seven months in Afghanistan, I worried—a lot. Daily (and nightly) chats with God usually involved Him saying something along the lines of, "You say you trust me, but you keep begging me to keep your son safe. Do you trust me or not?" It made me uncomfortable. I do trust God, but I wasn't quite sure He intended things to work out the way I wanted them to. Then it hit me: between Him and me, whom did I really want running the show? Not me, that's for sure. Heck, I can't even fly a plane! It helped.
Last weekend, I watched as my TV showed tornadoes heading straight for my daughter's home in Kansas. On the phone was my daughter, preparing to take shelter. When she abruptly ended the call, my worry level spiked. I prayed. God smiled tolerantly. I felt better. Sometimes it's good to let someone else do the driving—especially when He knows the road a lot better than I do.
part of a community of more than half a million Canadians just like you in
every province and territory who read good times. Why not write to let
us and your fellow readers know what's going on in your life or your community?
If you have a story to tell or an opinion to share, we'd like to hear it,
and we know other readers will want to hear it, too.
Our e-mail address hasn't
our mailing address has: you can reach us at good times, 2001 University
St., Suite 900, Montreal, QC, H3A 2A6. We can't wait to get your letter.
To subscribe, or for more information,