Is This Really Your Last Chance At Recovery?
People begin recovery and start working The Steps assuming that this is their last chance, and that just because they gave up on their chances before, means that God dismiss that last cry for help of;
“Oh God if you save me this time, I’ll become a good person and Never do this again”.
First, if God was listening to you and accepted your pitiful assertions, then “I’ll do anything you’d have me do” , which was part of the agreement for continuation of God’s intervention, and just because you didn’t live up to your part of the bargain, doesn’t necessarily mean that God declares that contract null and void. There were implied stipulations, late fees and penalties in the agreement with God, with forgiveness in certain areas when circumstances were unavoidable. In fact God has the authority to alter or even declare the agreement “paid in full”, for whatever mysterious reasons God elects. So at times when I’m trying to decide that my current agreement with God is over, and usually without bothering to check with God for God’s Input, I again have resorted back to trying to Exercise Control Over a Power Greater Than Myself. Black people say, “Your arms are too short to box with God”, I can’t control what God thinks or feel no matter what I do, and any decisions God makes are always totally out of my hands.
The Japanese call it Michi or The Road as do the Christians, and both imply that one must stay on the road or path continuing in the Right Direction and doing the Right Things, and not falling to the temptation to take shortcuts or veer off even one degree from the designated route. The Rule of 1 to 60 says that for every 1 degree off course you are, you are 1 mile off course at 60 miles, so to the degree that you stay on course determines when or if you will eventually reach your designated goal.
God has planted signposts along the way to give us directions and warn us of obstacles, presupposing we are going to take the time to observe the signs and honor the acceptable speed limits, we often speed right by Rest Stops and food vendors because we want to vainly brag how fast we made the trip. When we almost crash because our eyes became road weary, or we tried to take that curve a little too fast, or we end up angry at the traffic cop and ourselves after being pulled over; then we say to ourselves, ”Maybe I ought to slow down, or stop and get some rest and nourishment”.
This is being “resorted to sanity” and soundness of right thinking behavior, it’s the same for the newcomer as well as the Old Timers, we have to often be jolted into a sound consistent lifestyle, or possible injury will ensue. For myself I’m on the same contract with God that I struck when I began recovery 40 years ago, there are different sections and I’ve had to go back and renegotiate, because of areas I didn’t understand & which I ignored. Happily God has seen fit to give me all kinds of “Benes”(benefits) and inducements, because I’ve tried to be relatively faithful and respectful of our agreement. When I see people in recovery acting as though they are the arbiters of their relationship with their Higher Power, I see them weakly proclaiming to themselves and the world that, “I am self-sufficient, and yes though God may have helped me get this far, I still have Choice and Freewill.” I believe that assertion to be the recovery equivalent of a child walking down a busy and treacherous lonely road home, verses accepting transportation from their loving parent who only wants their safety; both know that sooner or later the defiant child’s life or physical person could be needlessly in jeopardy. So the next time you hear somebody talking about making A New Pact with the Almighty, be tempted to tell them (But Don’t) that they are probably just renegotiating the old pact, and a new arrangement might have them as a deceased member of the Fellowship, who didn’t make it and unfortunately becomes an tragic example of the slogan “But for The Grace of God Go I”.