Have you ever taken the Meyers-Briggs personality inventory? I have, like four times. Once for a job and the others in abbreviated forms as a part of some class at church. I always end up right in the middle on the extrovert/introvert scale—sometimes leaning more toward one side than the other. Interestingly, the older I get the more introverted I become.
For the middle two categories I can never remember what I am. But that last area, I’m a strong J. I like to have things in order. I like things predictable. I like to be in control. I don’t have to be in charge, but I’m not one who likes to go with the flow that easily.
If you’re like me, you might sometimes call yourself a control freak.
One of the purposes of the Meyers-Briggs test is to let the world know we control freaks play an important role in society. Without us there’d be all sorts of anarchy and nothing would ever be completed.
As moms, our personality type is found in neat homes, with orderly children, weekly meal plans posted on the fridge, and color-coded bins. Usually. But God wants to make sure there’s balance, so He gives us a husband or a child—or two or three—who unintentionally throw a bit of chaos into our order. And we want to scream.
You see, God is the ultimate J, and He’s the One who needs to be in control. So when we need a little lesson in this, He sneaks in and kicks over the fruit basket. But He doesn’t send the produce rolling so we’ll go scrambling. No, He wants us to learn to sit down and let the colors scatter.
. . . where vibrancy splatters our world and sweet aromas waft through the air.
I know, I know. Often things quickly turn into a sticky, stinky mess. But how much do we contribute to that mess when things don’t go the way we planned?
Order provides sanity. It makes us feel like the job is doable. And most of the time that’s ok. But, when we start acting like God in our homes—demanding this, expecting that, ordering them, and losing our sweetness in the process—the Lord just might start throwing some chaos into the picture so we can remember that He’s the one in charge.
And you know what? He’s pretty good at it. He can handle it. He can turn chaos into order, disturbance into peace, and storms into stillness. So let’s loosen our grip on the joystick and allow our world to lean into a slight tilt. I think if we do, we’ll find things a bit more centered.
He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. (Mark 4:39, NIV)
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28, NIV)