The contributor to Voices of Recovery’s entry for today writes, “Food and fear blocked my connection with people and any hope for a spiritual relationship with a Higher Power.”  Food is one of many vices that has blurred my view and obstructed my relationships certainly with others, but mostly with my Higher Power.  I thought that a mighty thrower of lightning and hail would turn away from my failures, leaving me both wrong and lonely.  It wasn’t until working this program that I realized that it was my shame and fear that had caused the separation.  There was nothing really between me and God but me.  How can I come between myself and another?  By facing my own way rather than His.  How can I fix this problem?  Turn around!  Do a one-eighty.  Put another way I heard growing up, “Repent!”  (It means turn around, do an “about face,” go the opposite way.)  I had been hearing the one-word solution for decades but, clueless of my own need, I never applied this solution to myself until the prayerful meditation of this program.  Thank You, God, for being consistent and patiently waiting for me to turn to You!

 

Proverbs 5 addresses adultery specifically, but the text could also be applied to other indulgences of the flesh.  Verse 8 says, “Keep a path far from her, do not go near the door of her house.  It seems to repeat the warning from my childhood, “Repent – Go the other way!” I can almost imagine a theater full of angelic schoolchildren watching a movie of my life, yelling in horror, “Don’t go in there!”  Verses 12 and 13 sound like so much of the regret with which I am only too familiar, “You will say, ‘How I hated discipline!  How my heart spurned correction!  I would not obey my teachers or listen to my instructors.  I have come to the brink of utter ruin in the midst of the whole assembly.”  God, I turn from the notion that You are a scorekeeper, waiting to throw a penalty flag at my next move.  I embrace you, instead, as a loving Father who has wanted the best for me and has been patiently waiting for me to turn from my self-harm.  I turn from following my way, will and wish, and I stand facing you, completely surrendered to whatever You have for me, and whatever You have for me to do.  I am Your humble servant, Your grateful son!

 

Blessings and curses mark 2 Samuel 6.  In a celebratory parade, David and 30,000 chosen men brought the Ark of the Covenant from Judah to Jerusalem.  On the way, a man grabbed the ark of God in an attempt to steady it by his own power when the oxen pulling it stumbled, and was immediately struck dead for his irreverent act.  A man’s perception leads to human fear and faulty reaction, causing his death.  This sounds familiar.  But there is more!  David responded in anger which turned to fear, which led to separation.  David was angry because the LORD’s wrath had broken out… David was afraid… He was not willing to take the ark of the LORD to be with him.” (Verses 7-10, emphasis mine)  Still, there’s more!  When David got over his resentment and resumed his parade with sacrifice and exuberant dancing celebration, his wife, in her pride, got embarrassed and resentful.  When David returned home to bless his household, Michal daughter of Saul came out to meet him…” (Verse 20)  She gave him an earful of bitterness and shameful scorn.  In return, “Michal daughter of Saul had no children to the day of her death.” (Verse 23)  When selfish ideas make human beings assert themselves as powerful, important, or outstanding it never works out well for them.  David’s answer to Michal in verses 21 and 22 says it all, “I will celebrate before the LORD.  I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes.”  God, I dispose of any notion that I might impress, charm, attract, or win the approval of myself or any other human being.  Keep me from grabbing at Your throne, or assuming You need me to balance Your seat.  Forbid that I might ever be embarrassed to love You with any less than all of me, no matter who is watching.  Let my attraction be my submission to You, that Your reflection may be seen in the life I live!

 

We pocket our pride and go to it, illuminating every twist of character, every dark cranny of the past. Once we have taken this step, withholding nothing, we are delighted. We can look the world in the eye. We can be alone at perfect peace and ease. Our fears fall from us. We begin to feel the nearness of our Creator. We may have had certain spiritual beliefs, but now we begin to have a spiritual experience. The feeling that the drink problem has disappeared will often come strongly. We feel we are on the Broad Highway, walking hand in hand with the Spirit of the Universe.”  (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 75)

 

I heard a song this morning called “Turn Around” by Matt Maher.  The lyrics so perfectly echoed the sentiment of my devotion that I had to share it.  Some of the lyrics are as follows:

 

“If you’re scared that you don’t matter

If you’re lost and need to be found

If you’re looking for a Savior

All you gotta do is turn around

 

Some turn to a bottle

Some turn to a drug

Some turn to another’s arms

But it seems like it’s never enough

 

Well I won’t say, that you will ever fail again

But there is grace

To wash away your every sin

 

No one listens to you anymore

And your heart has broken down

You don’t need to move

Love has come to you

All you gotta do is turn around

All you gotta do is turn around

Turn around!”

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