Help Your Recovery by Doing These 3 Things ~ blog
There are three two-word phrases which encapsulate what the Lord has been teaching me over the past 13 years of recovery from my addiction. We have been on this journey together for over 6 years and it is like they have been signs along the road. I have seen them more than once. They have probably been along the road of my life for decades but were rarely noticed and given no attention or thought. Like seeing a sign for the next McDonald’s when you just had lunch at one 5 miles back.
When driving across the country you do not really pay attention to the small blue sign with a large white capital H on it. You are feeling fine. You have a destination to reach. You have a schedule to keep. Nobody suggests, “Hey Dad let’s swing by and check out that cool looking hospital!” There are no attractions and poor if any entertainment options and the food is nothing to write home about. Besides that, it is filled with sick people, serious professionals working hard to help them get better and a lot of very interesting looking machines that you are not allowed to touch or play with.
However, have a serious accident and two things immediately happen. You will be extremely interested in that hospital and you may even learn that they have a shuttle service that will pick you up and deliver you at a rapid rate of speed with flashing lights and wailing sirens. An exciting introduction to a place you did not want to go to at all but now you desperately need.
There is an art and science to highway signage. The opportunity to catch your attention is very brief. They put serious thought into what color will draw you to look. What image will grab your interest and get you to look their way? How large can we make them, and do we need to go electronic and make them digital and computerized.
Occasionally you will see much smaller signs. They are homemade on a piece of plywood or cardboard leaning against a fence post. “Uncle Jakes Tomato Patch,” “Indian Jewelry,” “Fresh Hand-Picked Produce” or my favorite during the late summer in Maryland – “Hard and Soft Shell Crabs.” They clutter the nation and are the hopes of some trying to earn a few extra dollars.
Why not give them a little joyful moment? Stop in, find something you like, order more then you need, don’t even think of haggling over the price and pay more than they ask. You will both enjoy the refreshing difference in the exchange.
Even fewer and farther between are all those signs I have finally started to pay attention to. Someone wrote on the back of a white paper plate and stapled it to a stake and drove it into the ground. It seemed odd and out of place, but you saw it, and, in its simplicity, you momentarily heard its message … slow down. You heard it but like a gnat buzzing around your ear, you swatted it away and ignored it.
However, maybe later in a conversation with a friend, or a heated argument with your wife or from your Doctor at your annual physical as he examines your blood pressure and talks about your stress levels – you hear a little louder and more directly – “You need to slow down.”
I have realized that if I am going to successfully remain sober for the rest of my life, I must live life more slowly than I used to live. I must live one day at a time. I must do the things I need to do to maintain my sobriety each and every day and then I at least have a chance of maintaining sobriety.
What things can you eliminate from your busy schedule so that you have slowed down enough to spend quality time with the Lord? Perhaps we might start with the 3-4 hours of live streaming or social media we consume many evenings. Just a thought …
Recovery happens one day at a time. Some days we make it through going for one hour at a time. Slow down. Pay attention to what you are doing and what you are feeling. Stay in contact with your support group and accountability.
In fact, why not take this advice from God;
“Be still and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
Being still is slowing way down and coming to a standstill. It is a time to reflect on the reality that God is our Father, Jesus is our Lord and Savior, and the Spirit indwells us and is our comforter and counselor.
And when we can be still … we can start to listen and hear what they might be saying to us.