Valuable Lesson

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I learned a valuable lesson today which I thought I’d share. I was in conversation with a friend of mine who several years ago realized he had a serious addiction he struggled mightily to manage. After some intensive therapy and an ongoing commitment to work his individualized program, I’m happy to share that my friend is doing fantastic. Many things have improved for him personally, professionally and on the home-front. I asked him today if he thought he had crossed some sort of a milestone?  If he felt like the future looked bright and promising with no fears about the past creeping up and biting him in the a**?  He laughed and said that rather than allowing his mind to race too far into the future, he believed it more helpful to instead embrace each day one day at a time.  “UGHHHH,” I said to myself, “I knew that, right?”

That’s the addict’s mantra …. One Day At A Time …. and it’s a good one. When will I commit this phrase to memory? What a valuable life lesson for all of us, whether or not we suffer from an addiction. The way I see it, we’d all do well to not get too far ahead of ourselves and to embrace each day as if it were the special “once in a lifetime” day that it is. To be fully present to whatever it is God gives us this day. Heck, I’m told that some people who have a compulsion or addiction even have to break it down to one hour at a time, one minute at a time or one second at a time, that’s how difficult it is to see themselves safely through a challenge.

I know I also run into this same kind of thinking when it comes to fear. Some people fear the future so much it paralyzes them today. I have found myself saying to someone crippled in fear, “Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves.”  “Let’s stick in the here and now.”  “Don’t worry about x and y happening, let’s focus on where we are right now.”  Somehow it seems to help. To sort of slow the mind down to help ground us in the here and now – in the present. It’s here we meet God. God is not in the fear of the future. God is in the right now. God is always present … all knowing … all loving.

A wonderful Bible translation, called The Message, has translated Matthew 6:34 this way:  “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” Basically, relax everyone. Calm down. Give it to God. You’re not alone. You matter.

How refreshing is that? Is that not a message we all need to hear every day of our lives?  Please read Matthew 6:34 again. Commit it to memory. Tattoo it on your mind.  Register it in your soul. Go to sleep with it on your lips. Wake up in the morning with it in your mind.

Let’s pray today for all those who suffer from an addictive challenge of some sort.

Let’s pray for all of us, that we’re not so far ahead of ourselves that we’re not present now.

May God continue to bless us each and every second of each day. I’m praying for you. Thank you for praying for me.

Peace friends,

Chuck

 

 

4 Comments

  • Samantha says:

    Wow chuck..thank you for that. Your words truly heal..:-)

  • Andrea says:

    Your message is so timely given the many challenges people are facing these days. What a good reminder to slow down one’s mind and remain present in the many blessings around us all. A message of hope and faith – thanks.

  • Mary Margaret says:

    Thanks for the reminder. We all know we shouldn’t waste time and energy worrying about what might — or might not — happen but we do it anyway.

  • Terry says:

    Love your message Chuck. You have really been there for so many people along their journey … the message of hope, of repentance, of forgiveness, of compassion & also tough love. Such a slippery slope it can all be. One Day At A Time is the best way … open-heart and open-mind … the awareness of God in our Day and our struggle … and perseverance.

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