La de dah de dah! So says the famous duo of Sonny & Cher, and so goes the world of recovery. Every day a new challenge, every day the unexpected happens which requires many new moves if you wish to dance as this beat goes on....La de dah de dah!
I have often wondered how Jesus did it so well, facing so many new challenges each new day. Of course he was and is God, but he was also human, so he must have felt the emotions as we do, he wept, he had compassion, he got angry; so he must have felt a little disappointed when they heard his message but still walked away. Or, in our world, they came to recover and had a relapse.
Since we are nowhere near being God it affects us differently, we often have feelings which cause us deep concern and grief, as well as anger, hurt and the occasional joy when someone gets clean beyond a year. I say a year because from what I have experienced this past year, very few make it beyond that point, maybe 1 or 2 in 10. So, we are always serving in the midst of disappointment though we are serving with hearts that do not just stick around just for the good times. We are there for the good, the bad and the ugly!
Which brings me to this point, serving requires an almost unconditional love for those we serve. May not be possible for us as humans to experience this God like expression because we are finite, but we can get as close as possible if we lower our expectations of those we serve, and understand our own reward, our own joy will come later in heaven. My best human role model of this may be Mother Theresa.
And we must understand that no matter how good we preach, teach, love or serve, the results are in the hands of those who receive it, they make the choice and we cannot do it for them. But we can show up, keep grinding and let the beat of the Lord's rhythm go on.
Then one day, someone we touch will get in that same rhythm and we can dance without stepping on each others toes!
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.