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

I know what it is like to slip off the rails of my devotion to God or my intention to work my program and subsequently face the humiliation of doing the things I don’t want to do and not doing the things I have declared or even vowed that I would do.  (another pearl of wisdom and mercy from Paul.)

I understand what it is like to question my salvation.  I know what the dark night of the soul feels like, and it feels awful.

With great sorrow, I  have listened to beloved friends pour out their regret over something they have done.   I have walked through deep and dark times with soul-friends/directees who are looking for the slightest glimmer of hope that God has not abandoned them.

I understand their despair and their feelings of guilt because I have had to face my own failures.   I have had to wrestle to discover the true meaning of the “once saved/always saved” doctrine to others who, like I am, wrestle with actions and character defects that surely prevent the assurance of that doctrine.

However, there is another important thing I know for sure:  Recovery is a lifelong process.  And for those of us who want to continue to walk our own way, have our own way and do whatever we choose to do, that is a daunting reality.  And I know this for sure, as well: Salvation is both an event (when I surrendered my life to Christ or, in recovery terms, took Step 1)) and a process (the one-day-at-a-time journey that has many starts and twists and turns), and it is a process that depends on the mutual love relationship between us and God.  The journey of becoming whole and healthy (salvation) also involves other people who come along in our lives to show us the way and stand by us when we lose our way.

I also know that grace and freedom are gifts from God, freely given, but often misused by us mere humans.  Unless a person is in complete denial, each of us stands in the need of prayer every day, 24/7.  No living human is exempt.

And that is why we need Step 10!

I have learned many things about salvation — and what it really means, and how what is happening now and here is all a part of “eternal life”, but I don’t live the way I want to live or work my program so I can go to heaven when I die.   I choose to work my program and practice my spiritual practices to have the quality of life I want now.   I  will entrust and leave the afterlife in God’s hands.  Since none of us can speak with assurance about what will be going on after our physical bodies die, I confidently leave that to God; it is enough for me to keep my life aligned with his ways on this side.

I trust God with the afterlife;  tend to the life I know, which is right now, and for me is all I can handle, and that is why working Step 10 is so important.  I believe that eternal life is about quality of life., and I leave the quantity of life up to God.

This is good news, my friends:  Recovery is a lifelong process.

And the other good news is that everybody — no matter how smart, broken or holy we maybe — gets to work this program one day at a time.

We get a new start every day.   And the new day can start at any hour.

Because of the Lord’s great love, we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.

His mercies are new every morning.

Great is his faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23

   Guess what:  It’s morning somewhere at any time.

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