Now, if you’re not familiar with the title and my nod to the movie Mean Girls, watch this clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pubd-spHN-0
To catch you up to speed, you have two friends, Gretchen and Regina. Gretchen is trying her hardest to create a new catchphrase, “fetch.” Well, it isn’t going too well and eventually Regina just tells her to stop trying to force it, it’s not a thing. While Regina is super rude, even a broken clock is right two times a day.
This post certainly isn’t about the unorthodox ministry of Regina George, but I wanted to make sure we all started on the same page here. Gretchen is like many of us in several different situations. We can be well-meaning people who have amazing aspirations with the determination to make it all happen (let’s keep that phrase “make it all happen” in mind for later). However, sometimes we need a Regina in life that tells us to stop trying to force our will in our own timing (also important for later).
Of all the words my mom would use to describe me as a kid, determined would be at the top of her list (technically she would say bossy, but this is my blog so we’re going with determined). When my brother and I were younger, I would force he and his friends to be my “students” while I “taught” them over the summer. Now that I’m older, I know there is a thin line between student and hostage in this situation, but I digress. My mom tried to explain to me that I cannot force people to do what I want just because I said so. Much like today, I answered her statement with a question, “why not?!”
I wasn’t doing anything wrong and learning is supposed to be a good thing. So why hold me back from what seems like a good thing?! Well, I have a few answers to that question now (and only a few)!
Well first of all, good is relative. If we’re only measuring good against our own thoughts, desires and ambitions, our calculations are wildly skewed (primarily in our favor). Even on our wisest days, our scope is limited compared to vantage point of God. By choosing to force our version of “good” onto others, we’re saying we understand the big picture more than anyone else…and that’s not true.
Secondly, we cannot make people do anything. Let me say that again, we cannot make people do a single, solitary thing. Armed with that knowledge, trying to push our efforts on people (who probably never asked for our assistance in the first place) causes us to use a ton of energy with no result. And quietly, we become bitter and offended because we got caught in the rain from a storm we created.
Lastly, we can’t be trusted to control timing (I’m laughing, but also serious)! One of the great things about human is having the opportunity to experience the full spectrum of emotions. How-and-the-ever, it is also very human of us to try and speed pass any unpleasant feelings we encounter. If we were in control of life’s time, we would use that power to fast forward to the “good” parts. But when we try to skip the rough stages, we also skip the details that build our endurance and character (which are two very important things).
I think sometimes we view the loss of control as a scary, or even a point of failure sometimes. But neither of these points are true. Not being in control actually frees up to be present in our own lives, without the self-imposed pressure of trying to fix other people and things. But also, without the pressure to try and fix yourself. Commit to showing up for yourself each day and surrendering to your path. The life, career, spouse (insert what you’re looking for) you hope for are not on the other side of “making it happen.” What you need is on the other side of patience, trust and obedience.
Stop trying to make “fetch” happen and have a freer, less anxious day!
Mark 10:18, GNT
“Why do you call me good?” Jesus asked him. “No one is good except God alone.
Ecclesiastes 3:1, NIV
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
Matthew 6:34, CEV
Don't worry about tomorrow. It will take care of itself. You have enough to worry about today.