March 11, 2016
For our latest Spiritual Friday, we discussed Step 3 and the spiritual principle of faith. We shared some readings on this topic
"We demonstrated faith just by the fact that we are involved in a recovery program. If we didn't have faith in the promise of a better future for ourself and our family, we wouldn't put ourself through the hard work and pain involved in recovery... Some report instant release from their addictions, but for most of us it will take faith and patience to inherit the promise of a new life." - The Recovery Bible, Gen 22:1-1
"Ongoing recovery is dependent on our relationship with a loving G-d who cares for us and will do for us what we find impossible to do for ourselves... At times we may get stuck in our recovery, unable, afraid, unwilling to make the decisions we know we must make to move forward. We sometimes allow ourselves to live in the problem instead of moving forward toward the solution. Sometimes what occurs in our lives can be frightening, as change often seems. But we also hear that = 'G-d never closes a door without opening another one.' As we move forward in faith, the strength of our Higher Power is never far from us. Our recovery is strengthened by these changes." - Just For Today (NA daily reader), April 30
"There exists a spiritual compass within each of us that was designed specifically to guide us through life... Rather than dwelling on intellectual theories that say spiritual guidance cannot exist, we need to surrender to the fact that we are indeed lost in the vastness of life. From there we can turn to G-d with a childlike faith. Focus your energies on G-d. Strive for the conscious awareness of G-d and then realize that you never have been lost because you are lovingly enfolded in the arms of the Divine Navigator." - "Dear Friend", Sandy Beach
The Divine Navigator - how beautiful is that? I think this last reading was my favorite because it spoke about the deep love Creator has for us. This was a topic that resonated with all the patients -finding and using faith. However, it is difficult to turn our lives over to the care of a power we are unsure of so we must develop the idea that our Higher Power loves us, is for us, and will help us – if we let go.
I shared a really beautiful TED talk by Chris Herren, a former NBA star and heroin addict. It was very touching and inspiring and filled with faith. (It was suggested by a patient!)
In the smaller break out groups we asked:
- Do you have faith in something bigger than you?
- Do you believe that G-d (Higher Power) loves you?
- How do you activate faith in you?
Some answers included:
- "I felt G-d's presence when I was given a treatment scholarship. People still had faith in me and fought hard to get me here - that was G-d."
- "I'm setting aside what I thought was most important - I'm in the program."
- "When I'm taken over by drugs, I do the next wrong thing. But, when I listen to Higher Power, I do the next right thing."
- "I actually felt and found faith from being ’witnessed to’ by a born again Christian in jail."
- "I'm being more careful with my spirituality."
We closed the day with this beautiful blessing:
May today there be peace within.
May you trust G-d that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.
May you use these gifts that you have received
and pass on the love that has been given you.
May you be content knowing you are a child of G-d.
Let this presence settle into your bones and
allow your soul the freedom
to sing, dance, praise and love.
It is there for each and every one of us.
- Prayer of Saint Teresa
Reverend Laurie Durgan