From Today’s entry in Voices of Recovery:

“Once I let go of yesterday and tomorrow, I can live today to its fullest… I can only be happy by spending today gratefully accepting who I am, what I have, and what I can do in this moment to better myself.

 

“Gratefully accepting” is the action phrase that describes my part.  In order to accomplish it, I first have to reflect on and take inventory of the indicated questions:

  • Who am I?
  • What do I have?
  • What can I do in this moment?

 

Who am I?  I celebrate my Creator’s description of me rather than allowing my emotional state to dictate who and what I am.  He calls me “carefully and wonderfully made,” “a pearl of great price,” worth dying for even in my filthiest sin.  He calls me the Father’s child, the Son’s betrothed, and the Spirit’s temple.  I am a co-heir of Heaven, a judge of angels, a warrior and priest of Almighty God!

 

What I have is a fun list to make because it reminds me I have all I need and more than my share of that for which I might wish.  My mother tried to teach me the habit of counting my blessings, but my self-pity kept me from sticking with it.  When I recognize what I have, it is far more difficult to whine about anything I don’t.

 

Freed from the remorse of what has been and the insecurities of what might be, I experience the magical freedom of contentment in this momentary present.  That freedom empowers me, and seeking God’s will and opportunity for service points that power in a direction of purpose.  Fulfilling that purpose serves to affirm who I am, keeping the healthy cycle rolling.  So what I can do in the moment serves to keep me in fit spiritual condition.

 

 

 

From Proverbs Chapter 12:

Verses 10, 11, 24, and 27 all address diligent stewardshipVerse 11 points out the importance of tending to our blessings instead of wishing for what we do not have.  “11 He who works his land will have abundant food, but he who chases fantasies lacks judgment.”  My wife took me to see “Wicked” last night.  It is a Broadway musical set in a behind-the-scenes perspective of The Wizard of Oz, and draws a dramatic picture of how one’s expectations and disappointments can define a person if that person allows.  This chasing of fantasies, rather than working the land we have, serves to spin a person out of control and farther from the perfect plan.  When living life that way, it doesn’t matter how much of our fantasies come true, we are still forced by the elusiveness of that kind of false satisfaction to either fake a happy facade or display our miserableness.

 

There are two parts of sacrificial service: the cost and the purpose.  The person run on self-will overinflates the cost in order to make themselves feel or appear grand.  The false statement, “No good deed goes unpunished” comes from people in such an ill state, and serves to perpetuate the emotional wound that caused the cynical sentiment.  In contrast, the faithfully submitted focus on the purpose to the extent that any concern over cost is eclipsed.  By choosing to be grateful and live in hope and not despair, I open a door to faith that keeps hurts and mistakes from defining me.  I am not a sum of my disappointments and fears, but of God’s design, grace, purpose and provision!

 

 

From my reading through the Bible, currently in 1 Chronicles 15 and 16:

In these two chapters, David finally realized that his anger at God was really motivated by his own failure to seek God’s will regarding moving the Ark in the first place.  When he had rushed in his excitement to do it his own way, in a cart and not on poles carried by the Levites, he made himself vulnerable to error and to God’s judgment.  The cart began to tip, and a friend who reached out to steady it was immediately struck dead by the wrath of God for touching the Ark.  (See 1 Chronicles 13:7-11.)   David said, in preparation for this amended move, “13 It was because you, the Levites, did not bring it up the first time that the LORD our God broke out in anger against us.  We did not inquire of him about how to do it in the prescribed way.”  Before I take any action, I need to pause and seek God’s will and way.  Doing even the right thing the wrong way or with wrong motives can become harmful.  It should be reasonable that the designed are most efficient when they act according to the Designer’s design.

 

22 Kenaniah the head Levite was in charge of the singing; that was his responsibility because he was skillful at it.”  It is comforting to know that the God who gave us our talents will also afford us opportunity to use them.  This is further proof of the importance of recognizing who we are and what we have in discovering what we are to do to fulfill our purpose.

 

In Chapter 16, David gives praise and thanks to God for helping him accomplish his mission of bringing the Ark home to Jerusalem.  A few phrases from his prayer give me good direction for my own communion time with God.  “11 Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.”  “34 Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.”  Isn’t that what was wrong with me in the first place – a fear that love will end?  Isn’t that why I spent so much energy spending myself my way trying to earn love or repay those who love me, and loathing myself for not successfully forcing love to last?  The fact that His love endures forever completes me, so that I can seek His face and apply His strength – not mine.

 

 

 

From the “Big Book” of Alcoholics Anonymous, page 76:

We subjected ourselves to a drastic self-appraisal. Now we go out to our fellows and repair the damage done in the past. We attempt to sweep away the debris which has accumulated out of our effort to live on self-will and run the show ourselves.

 

 

Have a blessed day (OD@aT)

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