I'm Rev. Doug Meyer, Associate Pastor of Caring Ministries. Participating in the Reckless Grace worship series has been an amazing experience! It has allowed me the opportunity to do a check-up of my own growth, as well as an opportunity to share my journey with those in the Trietsch community. I have come to appreciate my personal journey of truth-telling. The growth opportunities that come with it will be a never-ending process.
My struggle with the power of pornography started at the age of 10 with the simple phrase, "Look at this," uttered by a buddy's big brother. I was at his house one Sunday afternoon after church, anxious to share what the preacher at my church said that morning. "Listen to this," said the preacher, "God loves you, his son died for you and forgives you of all of your sins."
The irony of those two messages landing on my ears (and eyes) on the very same day has never left me!
This coming Sunday will be week 4 of the Reckless Grace worship series. I get to preach and will explore the guidance we get from the last 3 steps of the Alcoholics Anonymous 12-Step Program.
10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
11. 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
12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
Getting ready to preach means spending time thinking about how I approach these steps. The phrase that comes to mind to me is keep on keeping on…this process is not a one-and-done. It is ON every day in every way.
I look at living a life in recovery kind of like unpacking a box, packed solid. As I unpack it layer by layer, I move the packing material and discover neatly wrapped "treasures." Some are good and some are not so good, all stuffed away for hiding or safe keeping.
The Message translation of the Bible captures the sense of these 3 steps in one phrase:
"In a word, what I'm saying is, Grow up. You're kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you." - Matthew 5:48
My goal is to keep on keeping on…every day.
That is easier said than done: no matter your issue, brokenness, hurt, habit, hang-up, or addiction! So here are some words of wisdom that I've come to internalize and rely on for my personal journey.
You are going to get scraped knees, and hurt feelings, you have to be able to get up when you fall, dust off your hands and get going - again. You are going to mess up, relapse, and certainly not be perfect.
Some days all you can do is focus on the next hour or the next day or next week, seeking to make it through those with "small victories."
Living forward into full-on health requires very strong character cornerstone qualities: honesty, vulnerability, transparency, tenacity, grit, and durability.
As often as possible ask God, "Search me, check me out, and show me the areas that need some work." Ask your friends and family, "How am I doing?" Then listen as best you can without a defensive attitude.
Be aware that every now and then a left-over feeling or memory will come bubbling up. It will happen! Don't freak out. Name it, root around and see if you can find its source, share it with a friend, then release it. We are amazing creations. Our brains have all sorts of nooks and crannies to hoard away our old way of living, being, and coping!
Always remember that you are not alone. God will always welcome you back with reckless grace that passes all understanding. This church will love and support you through high points and low points. And I personally will always make myself available to you when you need to talk, pray, vent, or just sit in silence. You can do this. We can do this. God can do this.
Thank God for Reckless Grace!