Living a life of sobriety is living a life of constant change. This is not good, its great! Before I came into recovery, I can honestly say that my life was predictable. Wake up, go to work, and drink until I fell asleep, or passed out. In recovery, seldom is one day like the day before. And when you enter into a clean and sober life, you really learn how wonderful change can be. In NA or AA meetings you hear this statement, "hope is found here." Well now, thats a real change right out of the gate, I had little hope that I would ever change. Then you hear, "you only have to change one thing, everything." And now they have my attention, that's exactly what I want! I didn't know that when they said everything that they meant it literally, but they did. That meant the old hang outs, old friends, family functions where drugs or alcohol may show up, all of these had to exclude me. This was hard, but necessary. These changes weren't permanent, I can see my old friends when I want, even if they're drinking, as long as I'm spiritually fit. Sadly, too many people I have met in sobriety wouldn't dream of giving up friends, even temporarily, to experience real life, and they paid, and are still paying the high cost of low living. Refusing change kills addicts and alcoholics. Accepting change, really pursuing growth is a true adventure in living. I am very grateful to be an alcoholic, I am serious about that statement. Because of that, I'm growing in every area of life, nothing even close to perfect, but that's what I strive for.
"If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." 2Cor. 5:17 (NKJV)
"But as you abound in everything-in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in diligence, and in your love for us- see that you abound in this grace also." 2Cor.8:7 (NKJV)
Constant change is not just for those in sobriety. As a follower of Christ, I need to continue growth and constant change as well. Many give themselves to Christ and stop right there. I mean they go no further than believing in Jesus as Savior and fully convinced that He is, yet they stop. As in recovery, many fall away. You have to change the old scene, friends, and attitudes in the same manner as if you were recovering, because you are. We never really understand how great life can be as a believer if we straddle the fence between the two worlds. Living half way is why many say things like,"I just can't seem to pray, I don't think God hears me." Or, "I don't read the Bible, it puts me to sleep, and besides, I'm not a reader." And I hear that often. But if you put a TV guide in their hand, or a Cosmopolitan mag, or a Sports Illustrated, they can burn it up. Or if we find that house we've always wanted we can sure pray then, "Oh, please, God help us find a way to get that home!" I'm not any different, and I'm not putting anyone down, but it is true. And we can and should look to change these patterns in our lives if we want to have an effect on others, and experience joy and peace. Okay, joy and peace sounds like a Christmas carol, how about if we want to experience BANG and POW!
So what is the way to change? I'm absolutely tired of not knowing excitement as a believer, what can I do to reverse that direction? This is where recovery and my walk with Christ meet. We must first recognize we are powerless in ourselves to change, our spiritual life is out of whack. Then take a few minutes, get alone with God, and turn your will and life over to Him....and that's it! Seriously, do that. I won't question your sincerity if you don't leave that quiet place and become the next apostle with miraculous power and faith. Or make reservations for a plane bound to Calcutta so you can take over Mother Teresa's ministry. All you need to be is sincere with God when you give Him your life anew. Nothing may happen right away, but write it down somewhere, the changes are coming, and your life is going change. Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all! Keith