Friday: Humility … God Giveth and God Taketh Away
My story begins a long time ago, in a nondescript church, with Memere and God.
On that day, she had a conversation with God, and the covenant was made. And for the whole of my life, God was there, running in the background, even if I did not always want Him or see Him.
When we are born, we are given a body, a soul and a spirit. Our bodies, some say, are the temples of God, created in His image, and we should take care of that body, soul and spirit. Because it is the only one we have, and this is not a dress rehearsal, this IS the BIG SHOW.
When we reach the age, where addiction begins, nothing else matters, but the consumption of whatever we are addicted to, unto the bitter end.
I know what Humility is. I have spent an inordinate amount of time seeing where, I had to humble myself before God. And there were those times.
I am a man who desires structure. A man who desires to be with others, and not left on his own. I need that communion with those who participate in my life. I need a steady hand, every day that I live this life. I am nothing without those around me.
For a great portion of my twenties, I craved a new addiction, “Acceptance.” And what ever I had to do to get it, I did it. Not only did I never “find my way into acceptance fully,” it seemed, in retrospect, that “I would never arrive.”
My drinking career did not last that long. But for a very long time, I was abusing myself, disrespecting my body, my soul, and my spirit. And I had turned away from God, because I had forgotten that a covenant existed between God and myself.
If you think you can run your life, for the whole of your life, addicted and abusive, your God-given body, soul, and spirit is polluted.
I heard a friend say that at times, God might take something away, but He also gives something back. And my life, as it was lived, up to today, has been a series of God taking things away, however harsh it may have been, in God’s wisdom, I believe He knew what He was doing.
I had abused my Godly Covenant. I had forgotten.
Human beings are supposed to make it in the world, against all that happens, we are supposed to go out into the world, be fruitful and multiply. Well, I may be fruitful, but I sure as shit did not multiply. Thank God …
In the gay world, we are told we must be fit, sexy, tanned, rich and pretty. We are told that in order to “belong” we must imbibe great alcohol and do great drugs, because that is what we gay boys do. At least that was the message I got in my twenties.
I was fooled into a delusion that took me to the bitter end. Because I was none of those things, but for a few short years. Alcohol is capricious, patient and cunning.
I believe now, that God knew exactly what He was doing all the time.
But at the point where I had humiliated myself in public, drank myself into the ground and sexed myself up to the point that I was going to die because of my actions, God needed to get my attention, once in for all.
The Evangelical crowd believed that AIDS was the Gay’s punishment for sinning and that AIDS was what we earned by sinful behavior. They wanted us to die. And they vehemently encouraged us to die.
God brought me to my knees, in grand fashion. With plague …
He took away my ability to be fruitful and to be sexy and to be sexual. He removed me from that insanity, I thought I really needed, come hell or high water.
In retrospect, Was my sex life all that it was cracked up to be? No…
Only when I drank.
Taking away that part of my life was part of the deal. But God did not leave me, he incarnated and came into my life in human form. Todd came and saved my life.
I was going to learn some humility. And that is exactly what had happened.
I learned over the course of two years, what humility meant, and why it was important.
Humility was necessary to survive. Approval may not come all the time. And we must stand up and know that we are good. That we can be good to ourselves.
HUMILITY — Definition: When your toilet is stopped up with a cup placed backwards in the bowl, and shit and piss fill the bowl and is all over the floor, your job is to get that cup out of the toilet and clean that mess… humility …
We know today, well at least some of us do that:
My belly button is NOT the center of the universe. Therefore I am not the center of the universe.
As long as I was orbiting my sun, my moon and my stars, I was good. As long as that hand was there, and I was not alone, I trusted Todd with my life and I flourished.
We know that time came to an end. I did not know what to do. Honestly, I did not know what to do with myself or how I was going to survive on my own.
I tried for a while, until A.A. asked me to leave and not come back.
Never tell an alcoholic to go away and not come back. Because if you do that, their life becomes your problem.
Once you speak words, you can never take them back.
I had to venture on one last odyssey. God was there, on silent mode. But I had to get to the point that I recognized that I was done abusing myself.
And that night, I got on my knees and humbled myself before God.
And with miraculous Godly power, God moved heaven and earth to bring me back into my covenant.
The rest, I can say, is history. Good history.
The steps are written in a certain order and should begin with the First, through the Twelfth. Because we need to admit, come to, and decide that (God) for me, is the director and I am a servant. Then I need to clean house and throw out the trash.
Only then can we entertain the word Humility. Step Seven is all about humility.
A familiar exercise is to read the Twelve and Twelve and Step Seven, and highlight how many times the word humility appears in that step work.
God giveth and God taketh away …
And I know that I could never have provided myself with what God has given me over the last fifteen years on my own. I was no normal mortal human being who was supposed to go into the world and make it on my own.
I had no idea how that was going to work.
Alcoholics and Addicts in recovery, We Get Our Do Over…
In the rooms we find what we have all been missing. I’ve proved, over the years, that God can be found in the rooms of recovery. I’ve seen Him move among my friends.
And He has moved in my life. Over the years, little by little, God has removed certain things from my life. In order that He might give me something better.
An Empty vessel that can be filled with grace. A Body, Soul, and Spirit that is Clean and Sober, that can flourish and be of service to my fellow-man.
Having lived as long as I have, I surely do not take my life for granted.
People rely on me. They trust me. And they love me. If I took for granted one day, of this covenant that I now inhabit, I would surely lose my life …
A long time ago, I had a conversation with God. And I told him that I was ready to sacrifice my life in order to serve God.
An entire lifetime would go by, until I reached the point where the time was right, the moment had arrived, the ground was fertile, and I was ready to step up and serve God with all that I had.
For me, in order to serve God, in hindsight, required great sacrifice.
It has taken me a lifetime to realize just what that meant.
Tonight a friend reminded me of why we were sitting in that room tonight.
Because God giveth …