One day at a time. Surprisingly, these five words have both wrecked me and brought me comfort.
It is a saying that I began to hear when I started working with the Next Step community. Next Step is a Ginghamsburg worship celebration that infuses the word of God with the language of recovery. At the Next Step they embrace the saying one day at a time. I always knew it was important, but I didn't always know why. Why does everyone care so much about this one day at a time philosophy? Then I started to see what it really meant.
The leadership team at the Next Step challenged me to stop drinking. They challenged me to fast from alcohol while serving as the pastor for this community. The challenge FREAKED me out. "Why should I stop?" I didn't have a problem. Then finally I came to this question, "Why does this bother me so much?"
It was that final question that lead me to the path of sobriety, and it was that question that threw me in to the full arms of recovery. I wasn't an alcoholic, but what I had done was put alcohol on a pedestal in my life that it didn't deserve. I had to wrestle with the question, "Did I care more about alcohol than I did serving a community who has been devastated by it?" September 8th was the last time I've had a drink.
I never thought I drank that much till I decided to stop. Then I was quickly alerted to how much I was sipping cocktails or having a beer. In my recovery one day at a time means coping with my challenge to stop drinking. It is about not freaking out over the thought that "I may never drink alcohol the rest of my life." When I'm honest the rest of my life seems like a long time, but today, I think I can handle today.
What I am starting to see is that most of us have an addiction to something; sports, tv, music, food, or even money. Addictions in our lives can quickly become something that rip us away from the mission God has for us, and the path He has put us on.
What I'm realizing is that one day at a time isn't just for me, it is a gift that I can give the people I love the most. To cut out those things that keep me from my God calling.
People often ask me how long I am going to stay sober, "Is this a forever thing or what?" My response is pretty simple, "I don't know. I'm just taking it one day at a time, and I'm sober today."
Lord, today I ask that you help me show up. To be present and vulnerable in the situations you have placed me in so that I might better see you in the world. Please help me see the beauty of the moment through your eyes and to live one day at a time. Give me the strength to put down my addictions so I can follow your call in my life.
What do you need to put down? What are you holding on to so tight that just the thought of it freaks you out? Can you give that to God?