The Show Must Go On
This is not to trivialise the principle of the last step of any recovery. However, if the complete answer and all that we ever need to completely recover from a bad situation takes only 12 steps, then we would all jump in and try it. True? it’s what I call the microwave effect - we want something that takes time, patience, perseverance and our best efforts and TING! it’s done…
This is not the way. It cannot just happen. God can change people’s lives in an instant, we know that. What we need, then, is to build from that point on. If you have been a sufferer of an illness for years and God released a miraculous healing in your body, Hallelujah! what is needed then is to re-build the quality time in your relationships which you have lost. Doing the things that you couldn’t, maybe taking on a full-time education or an employment which you always desired.
The show must go on… sounds a bit like a desperate attempt to jump back into your performance or overcoming a calamity. It is partly correct, but after 11 steps and maybe months of working on the disciplines that are needed to build your life back together, it’s like learning to walk again. God, who is the great giver of life, is now urging us to build on the life changes we have made.
A lovely lady who we ministered to in the UK had severe stroke in her 50’s. She was a very talented poet and had produced an annual book of poems for a number of years. She cared for a much older husband who now had to help her to re-build her life. She couldn’t write, couldn’t dress herself, couldn’t hold a knife or cup. It was devastating. By the time she was 60 she had prevailed and overcome the death of her beloved husband, to start caring for herself. She had taught herself to write, eat, walk - to do all the everyday things we take for granted. Now in her 80’s, she had to take the decision to stop her annual poetry book that she sent us because her “eyes weren’t as good as they were.”
I am certain that we all know of individuals who have battled back and overcome terrible physical issues. We are taking about Spiritual and Psychological areas that cannot always be seen. Step 12 states - ‘Having had a Spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to others and to practice these principles in all our affairs.’ Now the everyday workload starts to maintain what you have learned. We need to ensure that what we know becomes a witness to the community that we operate in.
The recommended prayer which is given is:
My spiritual awakening continues to unfold. The help that I have received I shall pass on and give to others, both in and out of the fellowship. For this opportunity, I am grateful.
I pray, most humbly, to continue walking day to day on the road to spiritual progress. I pray for the inner strength and wisdom to practice the principles of this way of life in all I do and say. I need you, my friends and the program every hour of the day.
Amen This is the better way to live.
I meet with inmates on a regular basis who are taking various Recovery programs. I can immediately tell from their response, whether they have taken a program or are working through one. They all have a desire to change. They need help to progress but can see the light in front of them, there is a hope that they haven’t seen for a long time. They have a support system around them that is vital to their progress.
This final step has allowed them to climb their particular mountain - and there will be more. They have been shown the milestones or the base camps that have been established. They know that they will not complete the climb in one session. Their ability to influence others in their climb cannot be over estimated. It is huge. The therapeutic process of not only helping yourselves but developing a sense of responsibility towards another human life is remarkably healthy and life changing.
Everyone loves to graduate. The step up from one level to the next is proof of a growing and developing process. This ministry desires to help people take a giant step out of a circumstance which they see their way out of into a wholesome, vibrant life with endless possibilities and fulfilment. This echoes the words of Jesus in John 10 verse 10 …but I have come to give you life and life in abundance.