My two year old son Gus teaches me a lot about life. The little guy has some sensory integration issues, and the more he feels in control, the better his reaction to uncomfortable stimuli. We can sometimes avoid tears and tantrums by making him feel in control. For example, after he finishes a meal Gus hates to have his face wiped. If I give him a warm rag, and allow him to wipe his own face, he does not cry or complain. If, however, I take the warm rag and very gently rub his face to make it clean, he protests vehemently.
The trouble is, I can't always allow him to wipe his own face. He does a lousy job, and it takes forever. Most of the time, I have to help him.
When I was on retreat last weekend, I realized that, like Gus, I am happiest with my life when I feel I'm in control. I get into a groove, run from one activity to the next, and so long as things go somewhat according to plan, I feel great about my day. For much of my life, God has handed me the washcloth and allowed me to wipe my own face, and at times things seemed so good that I even lost sight of His hand.
But things changed about five months ago. With a fourth baby, I can no longer pretend that I have control over my life. On a good day, we are just 5 minutes away from total chaos.
God has used this very challenging time to teach me about surrender. My sense of control was an illusion. My face is too dirty to clean myself. But fortunately, there's Someone who can help, and I'm slowly learning to hand over the wash rag.