There is a great Step Eleven Story in Voices of Recovery today, that references the acronym PUSH (Pray Until Something Happens).  God, help me to PUSH forward through my rough times, and PUSH myself over obstacles, but to always PUSH closer to You, even in the good times when things are calm.

Proverbs 29:20 reads, “Do you see a man who speaks in haste?  There is more hope for a fool than for him.”  My Step Four inventory had a lot to do with the words I speak.  Abusive language, criticizing, sarcasm, condescending, verbal manipulation – these are some that I remember off the top of my head.  Haste is an ingredient in them all.  When I pause to reconnect with the spirit of the serenity prayer, and the Power that grants it, I remember that most of what I say need not be said at all.  That pause, lately, has come later than I would like.  I need to exercise better self-pause, to eliminate even my non-verbal gestures that betray my critical, sarcastic, judgmental nature.  God, I offer my faulty natural self to You, to build with me and to do with me what good, constructive, useful things You wish to do.  Relieve me of the weighty burden of my warped, incomplete, self-serving nature and restore me to a unity with You, so You can better use me for Your good and noble purposes in the lives of those around me.

Samson’s vengeance on the Philistines is recorded in Judges 15.  Tying torches to foxes’ tails, he burned their crops.  But when they burned his wife and her family, he slaughtered a bunch of them, in a tit-for-tat response.  His own people arrested him to turn him over to them, and when “the Spirit of the LORD cam on him in power,” he broke free and killed a thousand Philistines with only the jawbone of a donkey as a weapon.  Afterward, Samson was overcome by thirst, but he prayed about it and God opened up a spring to revive him. God, may I always stand up to whatever opposes me, faithful in the knowledge that Your Spirit is the only power able to sustain me, and that it is Your Power, not mine that will see me through.  Refresh me with the Living Water of Your Spirit, that I may never thirst.

As we go through the day we pause, when agitated or doubtful, and ask for the right thought or action.  We constantly remind ourselves we are no longer running the show, humbly saying to ourselves many times each day “thy will be done.”  We are then in much less danger of excitement, fear, anger, worry, self-pity, or foolish decisions.  We become much more efficient.  We do not tire so easily, for we are not burning up energy foolishly as we did when we were trying to arrange life to suit ourselves.”  (Alcoholics Anonymous, pages 87-88)

My earthly father underwent elective surgery yesterday, and it appears to have been successful.  When I visited him, he was just moving from Recovery into his room, and seemed to be enjoying the effects of his anesthesia.

My daughter overindulged last night, and left her (my) truck at the lounge to ride home with someone more able to drive.   She learned a valuable lesson this morning when she discovered the truck had been towed away.  It hurts me to hear her self-centric response because it echoes mine from the past.  But she is learning that behavior has consequences, and that one must make provision for success.  To the self-centered, the options are to drive drunk or get towed.  Only the sober, sane mind, paused and connected to a Higher vantage point might consider not drinking at all, or being prepared by going TO the lounge with a designated driver.

Today, I was blessed to attend one of the best marriage seminars I have ever experienced.  Dr. Pat Love described the four basic keys to a loving relationship: show up, tune in, understand, and behave congruently with that understanding.  I am absent too often.  When I am present, I am often distracted with electronic media or conversations with others.  Even when I listen, I often do not strive to listen to the depth that it alters my understanding; and rarely do I allow any understanding of my wife’s statements or emotions to alter my behavior.  I clearly have some work to do.  My wife is worth it!