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November 15 • Divine Fixins

Day 494

The writer and preacher Oswald Chambers was the first person I ever heard challenge the idea that we should pray for God to remove people from their struggles. Where do we find the arrogance to set about rescuing people from the very deserts that may teach them lessons directly from the God in whose name we claim to exercise this mission in omnipotence?

Was there a moment during my acting out when a gentle word from someone in recovery, or a tough-love intervention by a well-intentioned pastor, would have turned me away from my addiction and searches for relief? I don't think so. Twice I went to counselors, and twice I started the first conversation with a declaration that I was not there to 'get well' (I didn't think I was sick) or for them to tell me to stop; I didn't want to stop. To my amazement, they both honored that.

I stopped seeing one counselor after several sessions, just because. A few months later I started seeing a therapist who I'd heard about in a 12 Step meeting. Within a couple of weeks, she had turned my attention to the pain I was denying instead of the behaviors I was committing. Simultaneously, I was becoming so self-destructive that I knew this was going to end badly. Together with the counselors and other influences, God brought about an open door and gave me a moment's courage to walk through it. I genuinely believe it was the first moment in years of addictive life that I was ready to say that I was ready to change my life.

Of course, this does not mean we should not be willing to help people in all stages of pain and suffering. Now and then, we might be the conduit God uses to open the door for someone.

Most of the time, it won't be us because that person is not likely to be ready. So we offer, we try, we live out the 12th step, then we turn it all over to our Higher Power to do with it what He will. And we continue our recovery while waiting for that someone to begin walking with us.

Otherwise, our constant failure to 'save' people will surely pull us back into the life we do not want.



Some say you're better off with a drink or two

Take life as it is, time will ease your pain

Yeah, people tried fixing me; they ran out of glue

Out of the blue

Wondering what it's gonna be

–Jadoth, ”Leaving It All Behind"



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