It’s one word I like. Meditate. Webster’s Online Dictionary (Merriam-Webster, 2012) defines it as: “to engage in contemplation or reflection; to engage in mental exercise for the purpose of reaching a heightened level of spiritual awareness; to plan or project in the mind.” I like this definition, and in the context of recovery it makes all the more sense to me. Recovery is about actively choosing to change for the better. It means putting off the old man and putting on Christ—the epitome of perfection made possible to us by the shedding of His precious blood. It means I must choose to lay down my will so that I might move forward. This is possible because Christ did for me what I could not do for myself, and He continues to do so when I take the first three steps.
To meditate means I turn an idea around, chew on it, and wrap my mind around it. It is the same in recovery. Step 1 – admit you are powerless over your problem/addiction and that your life is unmanageable. Step 2 – believe a Higher Power can restore you to sanity. Step 3 – Choose to turn your will and life over to God. As I’ve gone through the process of recovery, I am finding that you can think about getting better all the time, but until you put action behind the desire, nothing will change. Change will happen when you actively and willfully choose to take the steps and work the steps. That’s when the real transformation takes place. You begin to release old, broken-down habits that served no productive purpose. You begin to experience a new kind of lasting peace because you no longer seek to control and manipulate the world in which you live. You take it as it is day by day. You extend grace where there once was none within you to extend to another. Life doesn’t automatically become peaches and roses, but you learn to take it one day at a time. As my sponsor says, you keep three-stepping it. Sometimes you’ll do this multiple times a day.
I write about this because I watched a three part series on PBS called Monastery about five men living in a monastery for six weeks to see how it changes their lives. It was very eye opening. It reminded me of my former youthful exuberance in Christ. I was more gung-ho about sharing back then. I often wonder when and how I lost that, but then I remember that God doesn’t hold me to any kind of “service agreement.” He calls me to love Him, love others, and obey His word. I have learned not to expect to serve Him perfectly all the time. As I watched the show, much of it reminded of the recovery process. You come face to face with the enemy – yourself. Then you deal with the fallout. You learn to live with others all over again but in a way the invites relationship. Through recovery and meditating on the God’s word and the steps, I’ve learned that I have to be flexible and adaptable as I live and work amongst broken people who often operate from their dysfunction. Grace upon grace upon more grace.
Something to consider for today – freedom can be yours, but you must choose to do something in order to make that change-long lasting change- happen.
Merriam-Webster. 2012. “Meditate.” Retrieved from http://www.merriam-webster.com/top-ten-lists/top-10-charming-words-for-nasty-people/ruffian.html?&t=1327973446