Confessions of a Control Freak
By Deanna Shrodes
We have a new GM vehicle that is equipped with OnStar. It’s pretty cool. The other day I pressed the button just to show a few ladies in the church how it worked and the OnStar tech greeted me by name and told me exactly what exit I was at on the interstate. My kids have absolutely been amazed at how OnStar works, and how helpful the service is. I’m surprised they don’t go on to say, “Mrs. Shrodes, we can see you approaching the Bruce B. Downs exit, wearing your new blinged-out sunglasses, holding a non-fat latte in your left hand, and listening to your radio set to 103.5.” No, they aren’t that technologically advanced yet. What they can do is pretty amazing, though.
My nine-year-old, Savanna Rose, actually believes OnStar is a miracle worker. Until I gave her a theology lesson the other day, she really believed OnStar was on the level of the Holy Spirit. When coming through Jacksonville one day, it was raining pretty hard; we could hardly see a foot in front of us. My husband typically is not a nervous driver. Pretty much nothing rattles him. However, he was a little on edge because the storm was so bad, and told the kids to be quiet so he could concentrate. I think they were a little worried because they never see their dad stressed out about things like that. Savanna got very upset about the storm and cried out, “Mommy, call OnStar and tell them to make it stop!” The thing is, she was serious. She really believed that OnStar could control even the rain.
The reality is that, as much as we would like to at times, we cannot control all the situations we find ourselves in. Yet many of us still try. We women in ministry are great at that! For years I have tried to be the General Manager of the Universe, but things got much better once I resigned.
I have noticed that often people’s hairstyling products speak to their true personality. As for me, the two products I use are Bed Head’s “Control Freak” and Rusk’s “Wired.” My husband has pointed out for years what a wired control freak I am! Now, even my hair products declare it. I think some people are wearing a prophetic word on their heads and don’t even know it. The other day I began to ask some people what they use, and it was amazing how it described them. Some of the answers were, “Manipulator,” “Health Goddess,” “Ego Boost,” “Moisture Maniac,” “Shine Junkie,” “Extreme,” “Straight Works”…you get the picture. There’s a spiritual application to this, I’m telling you. (This is simply my off-the-wall humor, not a doctrinal statement of anything.)
Seriously, the most important thing to remember when going through an out of control situation, at home, in the church, or wherever, is that the one thing we can control is our attitude. That’s no small thing, because attitude is everything! Martha Washington once said, “I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.”
Someone much more important said it this way, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength” (Phil. 4:12-13).
No, I can’t control everything. I finally came to the end of myself one day and realized I couldn’t control my husband, my kids, my friends, my church, or my workplace. Yet, God has given me control in all the ways that count. I can control my attitude, my actions, and my responses. I can leave the rest in His hands knowing that He is completely worthy of my trust.
Deanna Shrodes has served in ministry for the last 21 years as co-pastor alongside her husband, Larry. Currently, they serve as lead pastors of Northside Assembly of God in Tampa, Fl. Additionally, she is a writer, musician, and the founder of Pastoring Partners Network (www.pastoringpartners.com). The Shrodes have three children.
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