It happens at the end of every meeting when we hand out the recovery milestone chips that range from 24 hours clean to multiple years. May not mean much to folks not involved in addiction recovery but these are for the courageous efforts of recovering addicts and alcoholics to come in from the darkness to find light in sobriety.
At the end we hand out the "Encouragement Chip" which has the footprints on one side and this quotation on the other, "Follow the footprints of the Lord they will lead you through troubled times and brighten your life". Needless to say these small metal coins the size of a quarter are our most popular. Why? Sometimes the Lord has to carry us through times of trouble when we have no strength to make it ourselves. The history of this dates way back to the Book of Deuteronomy. Listen to Moses words to the Israelites:
The Lord your God who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, and in the wilderness. There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place. Deuteronomy 1:30-31
When my oldest son was very young we were on a winter trip in the mountains of Pennsylvania sledding and snowmobiling in -5 degree weather. Somehow he lost his gloves and we were about a quarter mile away from the building we were staying in. He kept screaming how cold he was. My wife told the story how I picked him up and ran with him all the way to save him from frostbite.
As a father carries a son in that passage has been lived by me when I carried Tom, but also when God carried this broken man when he was down and out and frozen in his heart. Footprints is not just a word to me, it is a sign always that the Lord is still with me, even in multiple pandemics and social unrest.
I have one simple job now, point the way to those footprints that walked toward that cross and out of that tomb so that any alcoholic or drug addict could follow them or be carried by them, to home where there is healing.
That has brightened my life, it can enlighten yours!
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.