|Reflections on the First Principle, Part One
||[Jan. 27th, 2004|10:04 am]
I'm going to begin my own series of reflections on Rick Warren's Eight Principles of Celebrate Recovery today (and I invite others to join in). I am so grateful today that I have been given this opportunity to be part of a community of caring. It's not something that I can earn; it is an undeserved gift that I have been given, and I need to take the focus off my own perpetual attempts to "deserve" what is, and always will be, a freely given gift of God's grace.
1. Realize I'm not God. I admit that I am powerless to control my tendency to do the wrong thing and that my life is unmanageable.
I've been trying to work this principle, the first of the eight principles of Celebrate Recovery, since I started to work on this ministry, but I think that it was only in the past week that it really hit me.
The beatitude which goes with the first principle is Happy are those who know they are spiritually poor. I spent a long time trying to be spiritually rich. I thought that only if I already had abundance would I be able to share anything with others. I looked at helping others through a paternalistic, old-style social-work perspective (and yes, I know that contemporary social work has already moved away from this): The strong reaching down from their positions of superiority to help the weak and inferior. Only now am I beginning to learn that the only way we can truly help each other is by sharing our weaknesses and our vulnerabilities.
I want to control my own life and the lives of others. I am barely beginning to let go of that. If my fears had been in charge of destiny last week, I would be mourning, and instead I am dancing with joy that I am not God after all.
I am learning to be willing to accept that my life is not under my own control, but under God's control, and I am starting to feel, rather than merely knowing intellectually, how much better it is for me and for the world when I am not in charge.
You'd all be in real trouble if I were God.