Unmoored: Nurturing Growth in Our Daily Living

Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still. —Chinese Proverb

signs-381046_1920_edit

Contrary to what we have been told as children, we will never really be “all grown up”, at least not on this side of Heaven. Throughout my existence, I have been a lifelong learner. Sometimes intentionally, other times inadvertently and with lots of resistance. While my acceptance may have come with a great deal of kicking and screaming, I recognize growth is an unavoidable part of life. We are growing into one thing while growing out of another. With growth comes change; a new season of living. Resistance is futile. You can embrace it, but you cannot avoid it. Change doesn’t come easy, yet it comes. You can even embark out of your comfy cocoon and seek out change, journeying where few before you have dared to venture.

bodybuilder-646482_1920_edit

While the winds of change may sweep in from the outside, growth springs from within. With growth and change come newness of life, a kind of rebirth, or rekindling. Our spirits awake rejuvenated ready to tackle the challenges of our altered paradigm. Scripture tells us that the old fades away as the new arrives. We are reborn, by the Spirit, through Jesus Christ, by the grace of God the Father. The walk of recovery is a lifelong process, a continuous cycle of wash, rinse, spin, dry and repeat. The refining fire reshapes us slowly, removing our flaws, of which there seems to be a limitless supply. Yet, we press on, moving forward, growing with each change of season.

And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit. —The Gospel of Matthew 15:14

eye-2005661_1280_edit

Along with the changes that come, we must be careful and intentional about the company we keep. We become who we surround ourselves with. People can lift you up or rip you apart. They can lead you toward God or extinguish your voice if you let them. If you let them. Therein lies the key. Recognize you have a choice. While we do not pick our parents, we do choose our friends. Be careful of who you let speak into your life. Their words will shape you, and their actions will direct you. Invest time in the people that can demonstrate their love for you by making you a better person for having known them. Conversely, spend time on others in whom you can have a similar lifting effect. Build people up. Don’t tear them down. Remember, each of us have our own challenges, and we never really know what others are dealing with that may be making them difficult for us to handle. Keep a hand on the wheel, avoiding the ditch.

Nurture growth through being intentional. Let go and let God. Be unmoored. Change happens.

I believe you can.

via Daily Prompt: Unmoored

 

More God, Less Me

Keeping life simple is a key ingredient in the recipe of recovery. Sobriety—not using or doing that thing that makes your life unmanageable—depends on living a life marked with gratitude and humility. There is no room for boasting or making much of myself. Life can’t be all about me.

Rather, life today is more about others. How am I impacting the people God has placed in my circle of influence? I try to go about this quietly, avoiding drawing attention to myself. By nature, for a variety of reasons (including ego) minimizing my efforts proves to be challenging for myself at times.

He has told you, O man, what is good;

and what does the Lord require of you

       but to do justice, and to love kindness,

and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8

humble-732566_1920_EM

You’ve all encountered the drunken braggarts at the local bar. Our fish tale keeps growing more preposterous with each rendition. Our hey-look-at-me circus builds into an explosive rant-filled dance begging for the spotlight to shine on us longer and brighter. Braggadocio is the life recovery calls us to leave behind. We no longer look to shine the light on ourselves but strive to build up others, helping them be all God intended them to be. We know that the Lord has a plan and that plan does not mean to do us harm. We are His servants, no longer slaves to our addictions, free to let God’s light shine through us, so that He may be glorified, not ourselves; so that others might benefit, not us alone.

We maximize God and lessen ourselves. We lift up others without highly regarding ourselves. We do it for the love of God and the love for others.

We recognize that we are lucky to be alive and whatever life we have is grand. Ours is a grace adventure, basking with gratitude and walking in humility.

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. Deuteronomy 6:5

caravan-2239305_1280

Otherwise, our world is bound to come crashing down around us. We have to ensure we keep first things first, taking care to daily order our priorities. Life in recovery is, after all, a day by day endeavor. Our foundation, secured through our Savior, must be built on prayer and God’s Word if it is to stand. The Lord must grow in us, and we must make ourselves smaller to make room for Him. Who are we, after all, that God would concern Himself with us? Yet, we know God does. We must try to learn and understand His ways and His thoughts, so that we can make them ours, letting His light shine brightly through us. In recovery, our life becomes about God and others and less about us.

28 And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” The Gospel of Mark 12:28-31