We’re all control freaks. Not just the type-A personalities, but also the B’s, C’s, and Z’s of the world.
No one likes to be out of control. Those that act as though they don’t care about being in control are just practicing an apathetic version of control.
My barber laughed as she exclaimed, somewhat proudly, that she’s a control freak. “I love having a plan, and hate it when plans change.” The opposite side of this coin might be the person that never has a plan because they hate being boxed in to one specific track or idea.
Regardless of the favor of control practiced, something that rarely gets asked is this: What exactly are you trying to control?
What order (or disorder) are you trying to bring to your life?
What outcome for your life would make your problems disappear? What new problems would appear?
What room is there for others inside your controlled life?
I’m sure you’ve heard someone say it, or perhaps that someone has been you, “I’m so afraid of the unknown.”
If you take a step back and consider that statement, it sounds pretty silly. How is it that you can be afraid of something you have yet to know? The answer: You can’t.
“I’m afraid of the unknown” is almost always a statement about fearing the known. Remember in Jurassic Park how the scientists filled in the Dino’s DNA gaps with frog DNA? It’s the same idea here. We have gaps in what we can know about the future, so we fill in those gaps with what we already know. You can’t be afraid of what you don’t know, so you fill the unknown with what you know.
Existentially, we humans are afraid of being out of control and not being a god. Practically, we’re afraid of being left behind, alone, betrayed, forgotten, and/or insignificant.
There’s no better place than the unknown to illuminate the fact that we humans are just humans. Fill it up with all your known fears, and you’ll never have to face what you don’t know. We’re not omnipotent. We don’t know everything. We’re limited. Fragile. Insecure. Capable of dying. And the unknown has all kinds of things that will hurt us.
And the unknown has all kinds of things that can help us find healing: New relationships. Different experiences. Finding God in new ways.
You should visit it sometime, the unknown is a pretty great place.