Practicing Resurrection: Working the Steps– Step 10, Part 1

Step 10:  We continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

   One of the major doctrines of my religious tradition is the doctrine of “Once saved, always saved.” Frankly, I have seen that doctrine misinterpreted for my entire life to mean, “I can live any way I want to now, do anything I want to do, treat others and myself (my body or my mind) anyway I choose because I’m in with God and will go to heaven when I die.”

Others may feel that they because they practiced a particular religion, joined the “right” church,  participated in the right rituals, said the right creeds — or were born into the “right” denomination, they can live any way they want to, and they are covered.

Have you ever been rocking along, working your program, but then said or did something that showed you hadn’t “arrived” at sainthood yet?   Have you ever fallen from grace in your own eyes?  Have you ever been caught when your walk doesn’t match your talk?

One of the most important things I know for sure is what Paul the Apostle wrote in Romans 8:38:  I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ our Lord”.   (More about this in Step 11)

What I also believe is that Paul’s assurance is spoken about God’s perspective.

I believe that God is as near as my breath and that there is nowhere I can go where God is not.

As my father used to say, “The Bible says it.  I believe it, and that settles it,” but along my journey, there have been times when I have felt that God was silent and far away from me.   I have felt separated from God, and like many in my particular religious world, I have “rededicated my life” to tie myself back to God.

I have at times felt his absence so severely that I felt desperate.  There have been times I have cried out to God,

“Where are you?   Why don’t you do something?” 

   I know what it is like to have my own fear, anger, guilt, shame or insecurity to overwhelm me so greatly that those feelings feel that God has abandoned me.  But the separation part is within me; it’s not about where God is.

And when I am consumed by any of those feelings, I say and do things that I regret.

I know what it is like to say in utter exasperation, “I thought I had gotten over that” or “I can’t believe I did that or said that!”