I often joke when I speak at a meeting that God brought me to recovery and recovery brought me to God. But it is my absolute truth. As we wind our way through Epiphany this year I have been so conscious of the influence of the Program in my life as an Episcopalian and now as a seminarian. It seems like every encounter with scripture, every sermon I hear and encounters with others I have are enriched by the gift of the Twelve Steps in my life.
This is especially true, as we have encountered Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in Matthew over the past few weeks. The counterintuitive nature of the Beatitudes, where high is low and low is high, poor is rich and rich is poor, where humility is celebrated, and death is transformed into life, punctuates for me the radically transformative nature of surrendering to win that I have been shown so dramatically in my own recovery. Sobriety is not only transformative; it is God’s gift of new life each precious day.
I don’t think I have ever been so grateful for the “rooms of recovery” and for our Traditions and singleness of purpose. Being in a meeting is safe harbor for us. With the current turmoil in the U.S. and the caustic rhetoric that seems to have invaded every corner of living, being “in the rooms” has never been such precious sanctuary as it is right now for me. It’s much the way that the apostle Paul describes who we are in Christ, “neither Jew nor Greek, male or female, slave or free”. When I am at a meeting, I can leave the pervasiveness of politics, political partisanship and differences in viewpoint at the door. They will be there waiting for me when I leave, but oftentimes I find that simply setting them aside for an hour allows me to once again bring the focus back to living out my faith and my recovery, with the help of my Higher Power.And while I can find blessed peace and centering in a meeting, I am also so aware, perhaps more now than ever before, that my program is meant to be lived out in this crazy world. The road to happy destiny holds no promises of being without challenges. Thank you God for the Steps and my companions along the way!