I absolutely love the 12 Steps and the way it lays out for us a pathway to changing our behavior and attitudes. And, if worked properly, will lead to a spiritual awakening of epic proportions that will hopefully include a walk with Jesus. The Big Book of AA, the NA Basic Text and other words of wisdom should all be a significant part of a journey to sober living.
They all work together with the words of scripture to enlighten us and give us hope for change that is permanent. However, without a decision by the one who is the addict to want to change, they become just words. Words that may provide a temporary relief, but only words because the one doing those steps or reading those words is just biding time until the next opportunity to get high.
We use the words "cunning and baffling" often and that is exactly the right description of how an addict thinks while still in active addiction. No one can really understand why we do what we do, not even those of us who are on the right side of this. We only understand that there is a Recovery 101 plan that can help us heal, but it absolutely requires that decision that we want this more than anything else in life.
I have found one very important ingredient that may help and it comes from the master. "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." Matt 19;14
Little children are generally happy, reliant on their parents for direction and very creative in their thoughts. Somehow we lost all of this when we were using. Happiness only came in the next high which kept getting shorter and shorter. We lost the ability to laugh and just enjoy life. We became creative in how we manipulated others into our own selfish desires, but forgot how to just draw pictures of sunshine and fictional play characters.
And instead of relying on our parents, in this case our heavenly father, we became a self will machine. Now, all of this has to be unpacked and restored. Is it any wonder why it sometimes takes relapses and speed bumps before we finally start to play, pray and get out of the way, so that our joy of life is restored?
We say if you start using at 12 that when you quit at 32 you are still 12 in maturity. True, so maybe that scripture that we need to come as little children is the key because little children are teachable, little children are reachable, and little children are a delight to God.
May be time to go back to Recovery 101!
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.