Looking back over a decade

“What you think about God is the most important thing about you.” A.W. Tozer

Over the last week I have been thinking about October 19, 2012.
I have pondered different scriptures, meditations and writings.
I dug deep into my being in attempts to come up with the greatest post you’ve ever read…I got nothin’.

It’s what I do. I turn things into being all about me. And though a large part of recovery is about me, there is a part equally as large that isn’t. Many within the rooms of A.A. would disagree with my next statement, but for me, it’s a vital part of my story.

For a year, I stayed sober so that I wouldn’t lose Chris.

I know what you’re thinking. “When you stay sober for someone else, it never works.” Well, for me, I didn’t care enough about myself to stay sober. I thought I was damaged goods, but I knew that he didn’t think so and the only way he would be with me is if I admitted that I was completely out of control and powerless over everything. So I did. And after about 18 months, I too realized that I was worth fighting for.

The day before my big anniversary I had the privilege of sitting under the teaching of one of the wisest men I know. His name is John Hambrick. He is an expert in many things. We share an equal admiration for C.S. Lewis. I will never be as versed as John is about Lewis so I love to hear him speak of his work.

He led a workshop called Three Game-Changing Ideas from C.S. Lewis.
Idea #1: Our Choices Change Us
There were five points but the ones that stuck with me were these;
Our choices change us.
What motivates our choices?
John explained that often our choices are motivated by guilt and/or fear. Neither is from God.

Idea #2: Our Imagination Can Be Holy
The thoughts that followed were thought-provoking. These are the two that I am most pondering.
We cannot be compelled to love God.
We love him when we see him clearly. (Do I see God clearly?)

Idea #3: God is Dangerous
Here John referenced several of Lewis’ books. One being from The Chronicles of NarniaThe lion in the story, Aslan, represents God. In this scene, two of the characters are talking about him. “Safe?” said Mr. Beaver; “don’t you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King, I tell you.”

“God is the enemy of our self-centeredness. The remover of all addictions that cause us to be enslaved. He will weed out and kill that which works to destroy us. That makes God dangerous. It is when he wants to mess with the one thing that we will not expose to him that we meet this God.” God is relentless. He will not allow us to succumb to misery because of his untamed love for each one of us.

When it comes to spiritual, there is no such thing as a “status quo.” We are either working towards being a heavenly or hellish creature. There is no middle ground. Our choices change us. Just as I made poor decisions in the midst of addiction, I must make conscious healthy choices in my day-to-day living. Though quite simple, it’s far from easy.

C.S. Lewis said in The Great Divorce, “There is no other day. All days are present now. This moment contains all moments.” If only we could remember that. How different our lives would be.

John Hambrick is the Director of Starting Point / Staff Development at Buckhead Church. You may follow him on Twitter by clicking here

Prayer of St. Francis

 


Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon:
where there is doubt, faith ;
where there is despair, hope
where there is darkness, light
where there is sadness, joy
O devine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
Amen.

This meditation is also used in conjunction with the Eleventh step in Alcoholics Anonymous

 

Prayer of Surrender

“God, I offer myself to Thee
To build with me & to do with me as Thou wilt.
Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will.
Take away my difficulties,
that victory over them may bear witness
to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy love & Thy way of life.
May I do Thy will always!”
Amen

This is the 3rd step prayer used in the program of Alcoholics Anonymous and printed in the Big Book. It’s simple, yet it says so much. A.A. saved my life. I am so very grateful for those old-timers, who, all those years ago sat around a table and committed to saving as many drunks as they could. The key is turning our will and life over to God. It’s simple though far from easy. There is quite a journey ahead of us, but thankfully our only focus is today, where our feet are. We will not project into the future and we will discontinue flailing in the past. Our eyes are set here, now, where God is.