NO ACCIDENTS IN RECOVERY
We suffer when we get stingy with surrender. The bigger our ego gets the smaller God gets. However, when we look to experience God’s presence in our life, our ego shrinks correspondingly. Only after, and never without, the intentional application of hard work, will we grow up. We remain humanly imperfect in this growth process, but internally we become complete at the same time. We experience the purpose God made us for, a purpose our created nature requires, which is why there are no accidents in recovery.
One of the powerful miracles of recovery is the story that grows out of a person’s experiences as their life transforms. As you and I live out our recovery and share it with others, our life story will encourage others just as we have been encouraged through the stories of other recovering people. Healthy balanced people who express their lives as living miracles show how God takes all the broken pieces of our lives and creates something worthwhile for all to see, proving there are no accidents in recovery.
If we have never had the experience of taking our casual, religious shoes off our casual religious feet – getting rid of all the excessive informality with which we approach God – it is questionable whether we have ever stood in His presence.
Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest January 3
We take our efforts seriously, while knowing that serious results are from God. We remain intent and dogged in pursuit of our disciplines, in the working of the steps, but dismiss at all times the notion that our work is enough. It never is. Our miracles come from God, and He offers them in conjunction with our work.
Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest February 9
Everything we have admitted expresses how alone we have been in the past. With the help of others in recovery, we have discovered and accepted our great need for God. We have been adulterous lovers who having been found out, come home awkward and embarrassed and ashamed — sneaking in the back door, not knowing what to say. Now — having been ‘found out’ — we realize that God has already made the first move to build a new relationship with us. He listens to us as we become willing to make the second move, which is to pray. Prayer takes us out of our aloneness.
Prayer is man’s impulse to open up his life at its deepest level. People pray because they cannot help it. In one way or another, I think, all people pray.
Frederick Buechner, The Magnificent Defeat pgs 126 & 126
I believe every one of us is inclined to pray, we all do it in one way or another. We intuitively need and want to engage something bigger than we are. In whatever way we do it, prayer is our way of saying hello to God. Prayer puts us at the kitchen table, with coffee in hand, ready for a meeting, a dialogue, an increased closeness of relationship. Prayer ushers us into communion with the Perfect Father. And while He, Our Father – God, is perfect, our prayers do not need to be perfect. What we do not know how to say, He says for us. What we find impossible to express, He understands. Prayer catapults us into the frontier of an authentic spiritual life.
In prayer, real prayer, we begin to think God’s thoughts after Him: to desire the things He desires, to love the things He loves, to will the things He wills. Progressively, we are taught to see things from His point of view.
Richard J. Foster, Celebration of Discipline pg 34
Instead of all these, the answer that He gives, I think is Himself. If we go to Him for anything else, He may send us away empty or He may not. But if we go to Him for Himself, I believe that we go away always with this deepest of all our hungers filled.
Frederick Buechner, The Magnificent Defeat pg 127
Prayer is always the most relevant thing I do. To be free from my addictions, my compulsions and my self-centeredness, I must become a man who prays. Prayer helps me find a link between the catastrophe of my past and the God-designed providence of my future. Prayer helps me know exactly who I am and what I should do at any moment in time. In prayer, I find the alertness to live well in any difficult moment and the energy to meet overwhelming challenges. Prayer helps me work with God to build my future, to determine what kind of man I will be, and what kind of impact I will have on the world. Sometimes, it is helpful to pray for others to change. Most importantly, it is always helpful to pray for me to change. As I am changing through prayer, prayer changes the influence I have on my surroundings. Then, through the lens of this new prayer-full perspective, I see the world around me change.
Keep on asking, and you will be given what you ask for. Keep on looking and you will find. Keep on knocking and the door will be opened. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And the door is opened to everyone who knocks.
Matthew 7:7-8 NLT
This is an excerpt from WHEN LOST MEN COME HOME, not for men only
~ Copyright David Zailer, 2011