Tuesday, May 31, 2011

“(Bad) Sports Analogies”

One of the most amazing parts of walking the spiritual path is having the spiritual awakening that’s talked about in the twelfth step. The shape it takes is different for each of us. Some people experience it more intensely than others. For some, it’s more of a constant, gentle nudge in the right direction.

For me, I’ve learned to recognize (most of the time) when my higher power is working in my life. It can be prayers that are answered, direct and in my face, or it can be subtle. I like the subtle ones the best. They’re like that little touch of grace that gets me through, that little bit of extra help. One small example: I have a job interview tomorrow (finally!) and needed to get my slacks and a shirt dry-cleaned. I went to the cleaners, asked for same-day service, and the woman behind the counter informed me that I’d missed the cutoff time. BUT, her driver hadn’t shown up yet. Since I only had the two items, she went ahead and took them.

Some might call that a happy coincidence. For me, those kinds of events are evidence of my higher power at work.

There’s more to it than just the incident this morning, of course. What happened today is the end result of my prayers asking for help, my doing the footwork to find a job, calling employers back, and (in all honesty) praying for the willingness to work. I do my part, ask for help, and the Infinite All gives me what I need.

All this action on the Higher Power front lately has me thinking about the nature of ‘God’. I’m not a big sports guy, but for some reason sports analogies kept popping into my head to describe it. Things the HP is not: God isn’t the opposing team, trying to prevent us from achieving or winning; God wants us to succeed. I don’t see God as the referee, either.

God is like the guy in basketball who gives you an assist so that you can make the shot. Or in football, he’s running up ahead of you and blocking other players so that your path is clear to run it in for a touchdown. Or he’s the quarterback with amazing accuracy who can get you the ball at exactly the right moment when you’re open for that small fraction of time. God is the guy behind you in the lineup, racking up RBI’s while you cross home plate. God can be the fans in the stands, too, who cheer you on and still love you even when you get beaten by a better opponent

For my readers out there who aren’t sports fans, my point is this: your higher power is a source help, of hope and strength. It’s with the assistance of our higher power that we’re able to succeed--in staying clean and sober, and in life in general. We have to do our part, practice the principles and do the footwork, and we get the help we need.

Our higher power isn’t ever going to do the things for us that we can do for ourselves, but it will always give us the help we need and do the things for us that we can’t do for ourselves.

The help is there. We have to do our part, ask for help, and we are given what we need.

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