Thursday, September 5, 2013

Micromanaging God

Have you ever been micromanaged by someone? I don’t know many people who enjoy it. It’s rather disheartening to be asked to do a job that you are more than capable of doing and then have someone question everything you’re doing, reverse all your decisions, and take away whatever little authority you thought you had in the first place. It certainly does nothing to boost morale.

My mom used to do this to me when I was a kid. One of the chores I had to do was dusting. I would dust the coffee table and the end tables and an hour later I would see her doing it over again. What was the point of having me do it if she was just going to re-do it? I didn't do a bad job of dusting. I just didn't do it perfectly the way she wanted it done.

At its core, micromanaging is an issue of trust. People who micromanage probably had their trust demolished by someone in their past and now they’re getting their control freak on to make sure it never happens again. Meanwhile, they make everyone around them miserable. When someone breaks your trust, it’s very difficult to pick yourself up and open your heart wide again. It becomes easy to distance yourself, ignore criticism, and become a dictator. There’s just one problem with this: all relationships are built on trust. If you stop trusting people, you might as well go live off the grid somewhere because no one will want to be around you.

I've had three friends obliterate my trust. The first one was around 4th grade. She introduced me to her new best friend and dropped me like I was last year’s cool toy. In high school, one girl “unfriended” me because she thought I was making a move on the guy she liked. (Is tossing a Frisbee to a guy some kind of mating ritual I’m not aware of?) Another friend approached me with a literal gang of people I had never seen before (while I was on a date!) accusing me of telling her mother that she was doing drugs in the back seat of her car. I didn't know she was doing any such thing, but if I had, I probably would have told her mother! I was blindsided in every case. Yeah, I have trust issues.

For the past two and a half years of my husband’s underemployment, I've been doing a fair amount of yelling at God. I've been telling Him how to do His job. I've questioned His timing (Why does God always seem to act at the very last moment?), His care, and even His love. Why can’t He do things the way I want them done? And then it hit me: I've been micromanaging God. Imagine what it must feel like to know that you are the most capable being in the universe and have someone question your capabilities! God sent His only Son to die on my behalf so that I, a wretch who couldn't be more undeserving, could spend a blissful eternity with Him. And I have the audacity to question Him? Really?

I think it may be time to start focusing on the things God has done for me. He enabled us to eliminate $25,000 worth of debt in four years and stay debt-free for 14. He brought me and my husband together though we grew up 10 years apart and came from very different backgrounds. (Isn't every married couple a mini-miracle?) He provided the down payment for our current house, which saved us about $300/month and is the only way we are staying afloat financially right now. What exactly isn't He doing right? Do I really want God to do things my way? Yeah, my way would be never wanting for anything. I don’t see that working out so well for basically anyone who lives in Hollywood, so what makes me think that would work out any better for me?

This micromanager needs to find a way to trust again. How do you rebuild trust? Baby steps. What if I actually prayed for guidance on how to proceed with a major task today? Or maybe the next time that difficult person comes around I could send up a silent prayer--Lord, help me to see them through your eyes. Perhaps instead of worrying over my husband's job, I could choose instead to simply rest in God's plan and trust that whatever He's working on, it's going to be good. If I took the time to get to know God better and really watched Him at work, I would stop micromanaging because I would recognize His capabilities. The funny thing is that He was capable all along. I just have to take my eyes off myself and put them on the right person to see that.

Copyright ©2013 by Cherry Lyn Hoffner. You may not reproduce this post in any form without permission. However, linking to this post is encouraged.

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