Last week I met a man who blew my mind. From all outward appearances, one would think this man was a freeloader on the system, but when I asked him what he did in his free time, he told me he attends speaker meetings, sponsors others, and is a lay pastor at his church. Wow. I didn’t see that coming. That will teach me to pre-judge others.
A few hours later, a coworker asked me what we were doing for church, now that we have quit our church? I explained that we were still taking the kids to their morning classes, but at this point, we hadn’t found a replacement. His question haunted me.
His question haunted me.
This morning, during my quiet time, I was impressed to find a 12-step meeting to attend. I haven’t felt tempted to drink for quite sometime, however, without a church family, I realize that I need spiritual soul-maintenance. For over 10 years, church has supplanted my regular involvement with the 12-step program, but now I realize, I can’t wait until the void grows too big.
As I sat in the meeting this afternoon, listening to others share their experience, strength, and hope, I knew I was in the right place. I didn’t know why, or how, but following the Spirit’s leadings, one can never go wrong.
at church, people expect to be good, but in “the program” people just want to be well.”
One lady spoke about why church doesn’t do it for her. She said that at church, people expect her to be good, but in “the program” people just want to be well. It was at that moment that the light-bulb went on. The Bible tells us that no one is good, not one – yet it appears that the culture of the Church, is to get people to behave – and be good. But that’s impossible.
The difference is that in a 12-step fellowship, people know they are broken, they know what it feels like to be in Hell, and we know that our only hope is to live moment-by-moment, trusting God.
On top of this epiphany, I felt welcomed, appreciated, and loved. I haven’t felt that kind of unconditional love for about three years. It was good.
I didn’t go to avert an impending crisis; I went to prevent any future failure – by maintaining my soul. Unlike church, I didn’t feel like anyone was trying to “fix” me. I didn’t go just for myself, I know, that as a Dad, I need to stay healthy for my family. To stay healthy, I need to stay fed.
I have a responsibility, as a husband, and a father, to stay healthy – emotionally, spiritually, and physically.