When I was a child, we spent most of our time playing outside for the majority of the day. We were constantly playing football, baseball, or basketball, and even dabbled in street hockey a time or two. If we weren't able to play outside, you would catch us playing with the few toys that we were fortunate enough to own. Back then, there were no video games or cell phones or computers. All we had was our imaginations and those precious few toys that captured our heart, everything from miniature cars to board games and anything in-between.
One of my favorite toys was my electric football set. Today's generation might ask, "what in the World is an electric football set?" The electric football field was made from a thin piece of metal, painted as a football field, attached to an electric cord that plugged into a nearby outlet. The field was designed to resemble a traditional football stadium with scoreboards, goal posts, and even stands full of fans. The football set had two teams of plastic football players. As a "coach," my job was to place my team on the field in strategic locations. My opponent "coach" aligned his team on the field to counter my team's set-up. We each placed our opposing players carefully on the Field in hopes that our team would somehow score and eventually win the game. Then the fun really started. We simply turned the switch to "on" and the Field vibrated so that the plastic football players danced and moved all over the metal football field. What usually happened was the vibrating field would send our team's plastic players in random directions with no patterns or strategies whatsoever. It seemed that no matter how much time we spent preparing our team for victory, as soon as the game was "turned on," there was total chaos and defeat as our respective players went in every direction except the directions we wanted.
There have been times in my life that felt as if I was living on the proverbial electric football field. It seemed that no matter what I did or how much I planned, my life danced and moved in directions I never anticipated. In fact, it was as if the harder I tried, the worse things got.
Over the years, I have learned that my life is not controlled by me. Usually, I learned this the hard way. I am controlling and stubborn by nature and try to handle life myself with little direction. After many heartaches and failures, I learned that my life is controlled by a Heavenly Father who has a specific plan for my life and knows what is best for me. Whenever I decided to become my own "coach" and move in a direction I thought was best, I usually failed and failed miserably. Whenever I recognized that God is the real "coach" and began allowing Him to direct me–based on my God-given strengths–I became successful in God's eyes.
If you find yourself going through some of those tough times, simply take a step back and allow God to orchestrate all things in your life. Trust me from experience—-by relinquishing control, you will actually be more in control.