When Life is Out of Control

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By:  Kathy A. Weckwerth

I’ll never forget that afternoon I was driving home.  The road was slippery, the snow had been coming down steadily, and I was on my way home from running errands.  A few miles from a neighboring town, I answered my phone to hear my mother’s voice asking if I was home yet.  “Not yet, Mom,” I answered.  And then it happened!

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The next thing I knew, my radio shut off and my dash board lights went dim.  I told my mother I needed to go and quickly called Farmer Dean.  “What’s happening to me?” I asked.

Farmer Dean asked for a description of everything that had just occurred and said, “Mam, it’s your battery.  It’s shutting down and pretty soon you will have no power at all!  You need to pull over.”

I was getting closer to the small town that was 15 miles from home, and prayed to get there so I wouldn’t be stranded on the side of the road.  Where I live in the middle of nowhere, it’s a normal day when there are huge farm rigs blocking the roads and I didn’t want to hit anyone or create any extra trouble for myself or others.

By the time I got to the small town, all power was out on my car and I was coasting.  My heart racing, I begged God, “Please dear Lord, help me!  I have no control.”  I could feel the steering wheel fighting my every effort to control it, and I pressed hard on the brakes to turn the wheel and come to a full stop on the side road next to the bank.

I took a deep breath and felt my heart pounding deep inside my chest.  I could barely breathe.  I was sure I was going to hit someone or not be able to stop!  That was so scary, I thought!

After another quick call to Farmer Dean for a much-needed rescue, I realized what had just happened … my car was completely and utterly out of my control … there was nothing I could do but pray, trust God, and try to get my car to the side of the road.  I had no power.

Life is like this, isn’t it?  

So often we are traveling along with a battery that is drained and suddenly we are stranded on the side of the road.  We think we can go on, but we’ve run ourselves to the end of our energy supply, and we are completely dead.

I know what this is like, do you?

Most recently, I experienced this feeling after babysitting my granddaughter every day for weeks, traveling 18 hours away to take care of my elderly mother, writing books, blogs, speaking at events, and orchestrating details for conferences.  I remember waking up and thinking I can’t even muster one ounce of energy.  And then I remembered my car and how scary it felt to lose control that day.  I knew it was time to plug in the old battery of my soul.

In his new book, Soul Keeping:  Caring for the Most Important Part of You, John Ortberg states, “For the soul to be well, it needs to be with God.”  What a great reminder!  If we are to remain plugged in and energized, we must stay close to God.  He is the ultimate POWER SOURCE for our souls.

So what did I do exactly, to get out of my weakened condition?  I took the following steps:

  1. I made myself go to bed early and slept for 8 hours.
  2. I ate healthy foods and gave up sugar.
  3. I began to read snippets of my Bible in the morning and at night (additional to devotional time).
  4. I said “No.” And then … I said “No” some more.
  5. I cleaned and organized my office and felt incredible relief (when I found things I had lost!).
  6. I began to say more prayers that began with “Thank you, God,” … instead of “God help me!”
  7. I took a break from speaking/blogging/writing.

It is making a daily difference.  When I begin to feel overwhelmed and out of control, I remind myself that this is not my life … it is the one created by God and I have committed to giving it to Him.  He is the Ultimate Life Source and I power up with a renewed energy each and every day.  So now, when I feel the lights of my soul dimming and the sound shutting off, when the steering wheel seems to be pulling its own direction, I pull to the side of the road immediately and pray to that Ultimate Battery of Life … God, I’m Yours … I need a recharge!

Psalm 62:11 God has spoken plainly, and I have heard it many times: Power, O God, belongs to you …”