I don’t enjoy flying on airplanes, regardless of how aware I am that it’s the quickest way to get from point A to point B. And while I’ve only flown about twenty or so times in my entire life, it’s only become slightly easier with each trip. It’s funny because I talk to people all the time who say that take-off is the most exciting and favorite part of flying for them, but for me, it’s the exact opposite. Landing is my favorite part because, well, let’s face it; I’m back on the ground. Mission accomplished. I don’t know, there’s just something about the weightless feeling of lifting off the ground and the wheels rising up back into the plane that’s jarring and terrifying and oh-my-word, I’m think I'm going to die.
Back in 2010 when I was living the events that would forever change the course of my life, I was a master of trying to puppeteer the final outcome. I was the Queen, sitting on the throne of all that needed to happen. While I was away in prison, I received a copy of the thirty-five characters letters written on my behalf from my lawyer to read through, which had been sent to the judge on my case. These letters, I knew, could very well be the deciding factor to my potential release and so I held on to them and the words they presented with absolute vigor and fierceness. I scrutinized and inspected their tattered corners as if they held the answers to all of life’s secrets. I remember sitting on my bunk bed day after day and after reading through them for what had to be the hundredth time and I would wonder to myself, how could she not release me? How could she read these letters about how people felt about me as a person, their view on the mistakes I made, but their faith in my ability to overcome them…and not have mercy? And so with those thoughts bubbling back up to the surface of my now less-anxious mind, I would be filled with a calmness and assurance that everything was going to work out for the best. But this never lasted. It would prove to be a vicious cycle that would repeat over and over again – fill up with hope and then be depleted into bleakness. I was obsessed with grasping control of the situation, regardless of knowing deep down that I was never in control in the first place.
They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. This could also be true for anxiety and worry and fear and so many other emotions we desperately cling to. We replay events in our minds, analyzing them to the point of utter madness. But to what end? And does it make a difference?
The downside to this as well is that control and anxiety are often a breeding ground for negativity. My incessant thoughts of worry on an airplane will never effect how fast the plane is going or how the engine is functioning. I cannot adjust the amount of turbulence in the air or whether I will arrive on time for my connecting flight. We become burdened and overwhelmed with a myriad of situations in this life, and even so, we choose to burden ourselves by worrying. Our mental state suffers and our viewpoint is corrupted.
Matthew 6: 27 says, “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
Our persistent need to worry is a clear indication of our lack of trust in the One who IS and always WILL be. Imagine if you promised your child that you would always protect them, love them, and be there for them, yet they came to you day after day asking for your constant reassurance. Wouldn’t your first thought be, my child, why don't you trust me?
Why spin the wheels of our minds trying to take control of this life?
It is not ours to control.
It is not ours to control.