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When I have Strayed too Far

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Hazelden’s Touchstones – Daily Meditations for Men

He who is outside the door has already a good part of his journey behind him

Dutch Proverb ~

When we see how far we’ve strayed from being the kind of men we wanted to be, we are overwhelmed by how far we have to get back on the track. Perhaps we see clearly for the first time how unfair we were or how much we hurt those we love. Maybe we see how pervasive our compulsions are in our lives and how much we missed. 

That is when we are most ready to do the work of recovery and become most spiritual. It is helpful at these times to remember that this program is a journey. Although at times the distance seems overwhelming, all of us are on the path. As long as we live, we never reach a point where we can stop growing. The important thing is, we are on the path, we have a good part of our journey behind us. Once begun, outside the door, we are progressing like all our brothers and sisters in the program. 

Thoughts, Meditation, and Scripture

This is a new year with supposedly new promises. A new way of living life. Resolutions are prepared. People desiring change. I, being among them, desire to grow more in my faith and true in my spiritual journey. Yet am still plagued by the things that have occurred over the past year. I find myself in a place of being humbled. Seeking the counsel and wisdom of my Heavenly Father as to what direction I may need to take. 

If any truth of my own personal journey and recovery holds validity it is the idea that I still feel inadequate. Still feel that I am not the man I have wanted to become. And I sometimes forget that my recovery and spiritual growth are a personal journey of becoming complete in Christ. It is at this point that my thoughts and reflections turn to a passage in Alma 32:6

And now when Alma heard this, he turned him about, his face immediately towards him, and he beheld with great joy; for he beheld that their afflictions had truly humbled them, and that they were in a preparation to hear the word.

Amidst the work of Alma and those with him preaching – many who were impoverished came to faith. Yet, those same individuals appeared to be marginalized, unwanted, and even cast out of their places of worship. However, when they come to Alma and those present, they learn a spiritual truth. This spiritual truth rests upon the bedrock of humility. 

Those who choose to be humble without any compulsion bending them toward humility or those who are humbled because they are compelled by our circumstances. While there is blessing in the virtue of being humble the takeaway here is that it is better to become humble by our own volition rather than through compulsion because of our present circumstances and situations.  

For me, this means that I have to decide whether I want to be the type of man who is on his own spiritual journey and recovery that willfully remain humble in all things or allow myself to become humble through my own poor choices, judgments, and poor counsel and wisdom. It seems that my own personal track record is more in line with reliance on my own resourcefulness and not willing to remain humble enough to seek out the counsel and wisdom of my Heavenly Father. It is through him that I receive guidance, wisdom, grace, and direction. Left to my own devices, I follow foolish paths that lead me away from the experience of growing. And it is because of this foolishness I make my way back on track and be humbled by my own circumstances and situations.