Grace.

“Grace isn’t just forgiveness, it is forgiveness fueled by surrender.”

I had a great talk with my friend Rebecca the other day and it has stuck with me constantly since then. It was about the Grace of God.

Can you imagine, just for one minute, that what was written about Christ on the cross may be true? The idea that He allowed himself to be hung up for you and for me in order that we may be forgiven for all the crap that we have done? It is just too much for me to understand. I see that I must experience it.

It was only when I was in a prison cell with nothing left to give that I began to experience the Grace of God that I have heard about for so many years. It is true, there is nothing, absolutely nothing that I can do to pay for the Grace of God that I want and need. It is a gift and I can choose to accept it or not.

As the great hymn “Amazing Grace” tells us… I was blind but now I see.

The inner conflict.

I will never hide behind my addictions as an excuse for my mistakes. I am responsible. I am responsible for my choices and I can choose how to respond to my circumstances. I have a choice. When I forget this, I am lost.

The most difficult thing that I try and do every day is to forgive myself. I know that God forgives me but I don’t forgive me. I guess this is what Grace is all about.

Choices.

“We did not choose to become addicts.”

When we were growing up, all of us had dreams. Every child has heard a relative or neighbour ask, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Even if some of us didn’t have elaborate dreams of success, most of us dreamed of work, families, and a future of dignity and respect. But no one asked, “Do you want to be an addict when you grow up?”

We didn’t choose to become addicts, and we cannot choose to stop being addicts. We have the disease of addiction. We are not responsible for having it, but we are responsible for our recovery. Having learned that we are sick people and that there is a way of recovery, we can move away from blaming circumstances-or ourselves-and into living the solution. We didn’t choose addiction, but we can choose recovery.

Just for Today: I choose recovery.

Acceptance.

It seems almost too simple to be true, but acceptance — accepting things exactly as they are — can be the key that unlocks the door to happiness.

After John 3:16, it may be one of the most quoted passages in literature. It’s from Page 449 (first 3 editions, pg. 417 in the 4th edition) of Alcoholics Anonymous or The Big Book as it is widely known:

And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today. When I am disturbed, it is because I find some person, place, thing or situation — some fact of my life — unacceptable to me, and I can find no serenity until I accept that person, place, thing or situation as being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.
Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in God’s world by mistake. Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober; unless I accept life completely on life’s terms, I cannot be happy. I need to concentrate not so much on what needs to be changed in the world as on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes.

Thought for the day.

When we have nothing left but God, we discover that God is enough.

The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be.

Anne Frank