Life has been a bit up and down lately, but I have been drawn back to step 11 tonight, so that is where we will land with tonight’s entry.
“Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.”
This is, for me the “thy will be done” step. Not me running the program with God along for the ride. I have played that out and it went poorly. Very poorly. The time we spend in prayer and meditation to make certain we are in submission to the will of God is vital to our continued healthy recovery plan. Without it, I start just checking the boxes, and patting myself on the back for working my program. This is about going beyond hitting the required elements. It’s about what God wants to do with the rest of my life.
By the time we get to step 11, (hopefully) the pain has subsided, we have made our best effort to get right with our brother, sister or neighbor, and we are daily keeping short accounts. However we are not out of the woods. It is actually when we are feeling pretty good that complacency and the “sham window” behavior (for those who do not know what a “sham window” is, it is defined as a way to appear productive and industrious while not doing much of anything) can set it. For me, it looks like “eh, I don’t feel like going to a meeting, I’ll just read a little and then watch TV. I’ve had a hard week and I’ve earned the relaxation”. Or, taking back control; “I don’t need to take this decision to God in prayer and meditation, I’m sure He’ll be ok with it.”
When we are in real pain, we will do anything to make it stop, hopefully reaching out for healthy recovery. But when the pain isn’t too bad, it gets easy to become lazy, and self-indulgent. So to combat this, keeping the daily prayer and meditation / step 11 in place, helps to focus my attention back on the main thing, which is God-directed recovery that seeks my good, instead of me looking for a sham window of procrastination.
The big book talks about step 11 as though it has almost magical powers of spiritual rejuvenation. Perhaps it does. I know this, that my recovery doesn’t work well if I neglect this step. I am grateful for step 11 and that God has not just left us to our own devices when it comes to this recovery stuff. I need His guidance and care. Thank you, Lord Jesus.
Grateful for all of y’all.