So many experiences in my life have paralleled my recovery journey.
I remember a hunting trip several years ago. Walking for several hours on an old logging road some 11,000 feet above sea level in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, I began to realize that the road I was on was not ever going to take me where I was hoping it would. I had to admit that I was lost, and if I kept following the road, I would just get more lost and further away from my intended destination.
All roads take us somewhere, but not all roads take us where we need to go.
I have been lost more than once when hunting in Southwestern Colorado. Not like life-in-danger lost, but rather an “I-have-no-idea-exactly-where-I-am” –and more importantly–a “how-do-I-get-where-I-want-to-go” lost.
The key in every case was to stay calm, use my tools to connect me with the right direction, and make sure that I cooperated with the resulting information to ultimately get where I wanted to go.
I am sure you can already sense where I’m going with this.
Jeremiah 6:16 says this, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Stand by the roads and look; ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; then walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.’ But they said, ‘We will not walk in it!’”
STAND. ASK. WALK.
Just wanting change–just hoping that God will somehow zap our hearts and minds and “force” us to walk the right path–will never lead to actual change. We must intentionally make choices to join God on His path every day of our lives.
Sometimes in recovery we come to a crossroads and the path forward is not clear. Sometimes, we lose our way and end up somewhere other than the right path. When that happens, we must remember our tools to find our way back. I’ve found it helpful to remember the three C’s: calm, connection, and cooperation.
We never make good decisions when we are anxious. Anxiety drives us to make foolish and sinful choices. We panic and start grasping for what we think we need. So, when we feel anxious, we need to remember to pause, take a deep breath, and invite God into the present moment. God tells us to “…stand by the roads and look…” If we take a moment to seek Him, He will help us assess the situation correctly and give us the space we need to make a wise decision.
Remember, the opposite of addiction is connection. God tells us to, “…ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is…” We must connect with God and other believers authentically, sharing the truths of where we are and what we are thinking. Reach Out. Connect. Ask.
Finally, we must walk in the direction we have received, cooperating with God to stay on the right path. “…THEN WALK IN IT,” God says. Sometimes submitting to His direction is difficult, but He has promised us that if we stay calm and look at our choices, connect with Him and others for wisdom and support, and take the first step on the right path, “you will find rest for your souls.”
I want that for you. I want that for me.
Happy New Year, and may God help us stay on the right path, the path of recovery, as we walk out this journey with Him.
God bless you all.