We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood him.
“Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91:1
The world is not to be put in order, the world is in order. It is for us to put ourselves in unison with this order. -Henry Miller
Once we have made the decision to turn our will over to God’s care, we’ll quickly learn that it’s impossible to do so without turning our life over to God’s care as well. We simply can’t do one without the other. The way we live life is the truest indicator of our will. Until we give our life over to God, we have not surrendered our will, no matter what we think or say.
This has been our problem: we’ve considered our personal wants and wishes as entitlements and necessities, and because of this we’ve been making demands on God and others in ways that we do not realize. When we fail to get what we want, we become angry and resentful, which is proof that we have not turned over our will and life to God’s care. Anger and resentment exposes us for the self centered people that we are. Sometimes, even without realizing it, we punish others in one way or another, and in so doing, we can become so intolerable that those around us will leave us or send us packing. When we create these kind of situations for ourselves, our personal misery grows all the more, making our addictions attractive once again.
In one way or another we’ve fought the world and everyone in it. We have, at times, become like mercenaries. We’ve fought for what we thought was important. If pushing and shoving didn’t work, we kill ‘em with kindness in order to hide our selfishness. Sometimes we claimed victory and gloated in ever-so-subtle ways. Other times we politely admitted defeat, apologizing for our behavior just to regroup and try again. Attitudes like these are indisputable evidence that we have even become addicted to our own self image, the image of what we think our life is supposed to be like. Without knowing it we had even become addicted to what we thought our life was supposed to be.
With all this in mind, the next order of business for us is to give to God our hopes, our dreams, our expectations, all of our agendas, even the way that we have thought about ourselves and our life. After all, whatever we thought our life was supposed to be like in the past hasn’t really been working, has it?
In true surrender to God, we quit fighting anyone or anything. We recognize that the only battle worth fighting is within ourselves. We turn our hope over to Him and make it his hope. We give Him our dreams. We give Him our problems and we allow them to become his problems. We make our expectations the expectation of God’s gracious working in our hearts and our minds with all other considerations as secondary. We determine ourselves to act, the best we can that is, according to what we know to be acts of love for God and love for others. We give up our agenda in order to live according to his agenda. Everything about us becomes His. Our life is no longer ours to run. We have given it over to God and our life will be what He determines it to be. Not easy but simple.
Because we are powerless over people, places, and things, we make it our own only goal to live out a faith that longs for God and hopes for His care. With this “turning over” we fulfill our eternal calling. It’s the ultimate decision of faith, the most dignified thing we can do in this life. It’s not just another image we’ve made for our lives because we no longer claim ownership of our lives. It’s bigger and more open minded than that. It’s a decision that acknowledges all of our own efforts and resources are insufficient. The turning over of our life is our personalized declaration, a God-given dignity, in which we state, unequivocally, that we are worth far more that we can ever give ourselves credit for. And yet, we have no need to claim any importance because with this decision, this dignity that is, we realize that we are made for bigger things than we could ever think or imagine on our own.
In the dignity of faith we are now consciously saying what we have been unconsciously saying to God in countless areas of our lives. We want Him and we know that we cannot live without Him. God has always known this and now we know it, too.
Serenity Prayer (attributed to Reinhold Niebuhr)
God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change; Courage to change the things I can; and the Wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time; accepting hardship as a pathway to peace; taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it: Trusting that You will make all things right if I surrender to Your will; that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with you forever in the next. Amen
Insights and Inspirations for Christian Twelve Step Recovery
By David Zailer and The Men and Women of Operation Integrity
Chapter Three Segment Four
Copyright David Zailer, 2008
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