This post took me forever to write, and that is not coincidence. I really struggle with how to best illustrate Step Eleven.
I struggle with it because I have a preconceived notion of what conscious contact with God is supposed to look like.
And it looks all Instagram-y.
You know ….
I wake up refreshed in the morning hungry for the Word of God. The very first thing I do is make a picture-perfect cup of coffee in the Keurig (for extra effect the coffee cup should be emblazoned with the words “Hope” or “Faith” or “Love” and – in finer print – a scriptural reference.) Taking my place on the sofa, I pray for God to expand my understanding during this special time with him as the kitty cats snuggle in next to me. I open The Message, and hey, looky there! I flip open my Bible and it ‘just happens to’ turn to a verse so very pertinent to my current circumstance. It is already highlighted even!
Thank you, Lord! Your will be done.
It’s so tidy. So picture-perfect.
Tidy, yes. But not an improvement over my current contact with God. And in recovery, improvement trumps tidiness every time.
I have ADD to a pretty good degree, and I find it hard to focus long enough to even make a cup of coffee on some days. It is easy to lose the essence of Step Eleven when we allow our preconceived notions of what conscience contact with God looks like.
How do I even know what to ask for? God is the perfect parent. He knows what I need before I even ask for it. Seeking Him isn’t about knowing what I need when I sit down to a perfect cup of coffee!
Going into my fifteenth year of sobriety (all glory to God, still one single day at a time) a more accurate illustration of my Step Eleven work might be as follows:
I wake up grateful for another day sober, but perhaps a little bit frustrated about a given circumstance. I Say, “Good morning, God. Can you help a sister out today? I need you.” Make a cup of coffee in the Keurig (most likely in either the “Life’s a bitch and then you die” or – my personal favorite – “I thought I was having a hot flash, but my boobs were in my coffee” cup). Accidentally piddle around too long on my way to the sofa doing stupid stuff around the house (Sorry, God.) Get to the sofa, only to find the cats in my spot unwilling to share the space. Hump back to the kitchen table, sloshing coffee on the floor. Pray for God to expand my understanding of Him this day, and open The Message. Hey – LOOKY!
“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:9 (NIV)
It’s highlighted even!
And the more I delve into what God has to say in His love letter, the more His message becomes apparent.
I want to help you.
I want you to know Me.
I LOVE YOU.
Step Eleven in recovery isn’t about getting it right. It’s about seeking right exactly where you are today.
Be a seeker. He will take care of the rest.
Thank you, Lord!
Your perfect, pleasing will be done.