There was a long stretch of time where I felt guilty that I was not spending enough time with God. I felt guilty that my “quiet time” was not very disciplined or that my “prayer closet” was full of cob webs. When going through a rough patch I could count on some well-meaning Christian to begin their diagnostic testing of my spiritual state by asking, “How is your devotional life?”
Ryan May reminded me of this in his message this past weekend (I highly recommend watching it! See video below). As he brought home the point that God is everywhere and that we can interact with God and be infused with God’s wisdom in both obvious and not-so-obvious places, I found myself grateful for the wisdom found in this program of recovery called the 12 Steps.
Why? First, because through the process of working the steps I realize that I am utterly and completely dependent upon my Higher Power to restore me to sanity and sustain my serenity. I learn that this is something that requires not only some “alone time with God” in the morning and evening (the obvious places) but also a conscious connection with God throughout the day. The second reason is related to the first. The steps disabuse me of the notion that God is only found in obvious spots. Rather, they give me permission and even encourage me to seek God in the margins, the not-so-obvious places. The steps liberate me from believing in a God who is waiting for me to sit in my recliner with my Bible on my lap in order to trigger some divine-to-human connection and instead introduce me to a God who is always connected to me if I will but ask for eyes to see and ears to hear.
Step 11 reads,
Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
Being in recovery is about deepening that connection not only in those quiet prayer-closet moments but also during rush hour traffic or on the homestretch of a work deadline or in the middle of a tough conversation or when the kids disobey or when the sun sets so brilliantly or when the food tastes sumptuous or the tire goes flat.
God is everywhere and willing and able to connect with us where we are, when we are, how we are, for who we are.
I’m not about to forsake my morning prayer and coffee time with God in my comfortable recliner each day. Those times are sacred and holy and sweet. But the other 1,410 minutes of the day are equally sacred and holy and sweet. My problem, and perhaps yours, is that I don’t allow myself to see and hear God in those moments enough. And yet I’m convinced that it is in those areas – the not-so-obvious ones – that a vibrant, fulfilling, life-altering relationship with my Higher Power can gain steam. Today I’m grateful that Step 11 promises that this is an area I can “improve” upon.
I hope you enjoy Ryan’s message from Sunday as much as I did. I think it’ll open your eyes to ways God wants to meet you in unexpected places.