My mind thinks critically toward my personal inadequacies. This can be a gift, in that looking at areas that need fixing, you work on, pray about, and work to improve. It can be a curse too. You worry about being perfect before you begin a project, so you never begin. The old proverb, (Chinese I think), says, the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. I agree. The thing is, stopping the work in the middle of a project, the project being me, is as bad as never beginning. In sobriety, AA has 12 steps to recovery. Many begin, but quit half way into the steps, or wait too long between steps, and drop off of the end of the earth and aren't heard from again unless they end up on the bar stool, or the obituary collumn. Tragic.
I can criticize myself, I can point out others complacency. That doesn't make me any sort of know-it-all, but does give me observations on how to stop, look, and listen...and improve. I see something wonderful and terrible in recovering addicts/alcoholics. God, by His grace, leads us to help in recovery and getting clean and sober, and that's wonderful. The help we receive points us back to God's direction, but too often the journey stops before completion, that's terrible. The path to self-improvement, serenity, and personal relationship with the Giver of Life, is suddenly hidden, because we look back at what we left behind, like the cares of this life and personal pleasures.
We are either in the fight, or spectating. Something in life must drive us to be determined to go all the way and finish those things in life that cause us to stand out, fulfilling God's purpose for us. So what can give us that drive? There is an old saying I heard as a child growing up, there is only one life it soon will pass...only what's done for God will last. What does that have to do with giving me a drive? That is a nice saying, taking it to heart is where the drive lies. What will give us the drive in a word: CONVICTION. If I believe in anything so strongly, and I'm persuaded that thing will help others and honor God, I will be convicted to go all the way, take every step to achieve His purpose in me.
I can now, critically view my shortcomings, yours too, without criticizing, knowing we are a work in progress, just in the early stages of perfection. With each trial we pass, we are being formed by God into the image of Christ, the only perfect One. Complacency, procrastination, sloth, and ignorance, are the frustrations that keep us from having worth. Unworthiness keeps us from God's presence, feeling, I''m just not good enough...when I get rid of all my sin, I'll pray more. When I get done with pleasures, I'll start living right, give up what I desire, to serve God and help others. One of these days I'll...and unfortunately, the day doesn't come. I knew, before I ever entered a recovery meeting, I was done for, I would never stop with pleasure, or decide one day to be God's man. When I went all the way, the other way, knowing I could never be free of me and begin to do right for God and man, then, God began to mold me, and draw me to Him.
People don't come into AA/NA happy and well adjusted, ready to serve and help others. People do not come to Christ saying I just figured out why I can't get my life together, okay I am now ready, let's go to work. Now God tell me what you need from me, and who do you want me to help. That my friends, is our expectation, when we get ready, then we will live right. Don't be self deceived. It is our surrender to the fact that we have no control over ourselves, and are broken by continual failures, then, only then, He can mold us into the perfect vessel. He is the Potter, I am the clay.
Conviction, brokeness, surrender. Knowing that I will self-improve and accomplish, (conviction), but I need God's help, (brokeness), and I will stop trying to force things done by my control, (surrender), reveals to me that I can enter the ring ready to fight with purpose, and achieve perfection one day in Christ. I give Him control, He takes the reins, pulls the strings, manipulates the situations, and I go from achievement to achievement, instead of failure to failure. I can go all the way.
Thanks for reading, God bless and keep you all. Keith