Raise your hand if you consider the perpetually broken pencil tip battleworthy. As in choose your battles and a broken pencil lead isn’t one. But oh yes it is. I want a sharp tip and that thing is personally challenging me. It’s like it’s sticking its tongue out from behind the thin chiseled wood. You know what I’m talking about… it’s not just the pencil with a broken tip, it’s the pencil that breaks every time you try to sharpen it. I will fight that battle to the death of the pencil. I shove it in the electric sharpener and it breaks. I try holding it at an angle; breaks. I dig through the drawer and find a handheld sharpener… yes! More control. Breaks. It’s a suckhole of time and the result doesn’t change. I end up with a useless nub of wood that can’t function. 

I often choose battles in life that take up time and yield no victory. I grind away at something that I know is pointless because I’m selfish. I will try every angle I can think of to get the result that I want, knowing that I’m wasting my time. I end up with a useless nub instead of a victory. Am I capable of self-control when I’m trying to be controlling? Yes. Do I take that approach? No.

I’m thankful for this irritating little pencil reminding me to let go of losing battles. Sometimes I battle pencils, sometimes I battle God. Who do I think I am when I fight with the Creator of the Universe? I get frustrated and grind away trying to achieve my will until I’m exhausted and left with nothing but a waste of time. But I know this about the Creator of the Universe: He’s not only mighty, He’s merciful. I’m so thankful that He lets me bring my broken little battles to Him and I’m thankful that He allows me to fail in my sad attempt at being controlling. Those failures give me a point of reference for the value of self-control. God’s will is not pointless. The losing battles I choose are. 

Do you have control of your battle or do you need to exercise self-control? It may hurt a lot to feel defeated. I assure you that God doesn’t find pleasure in our defeat but He is pleased when we learn and accept His will. There’s nothing He does not do out of love for us. Let go.

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