One Day at a Time
Who is left among you who saw this house in its former glory? How do you see it now? Is it not as nothing in your eyes? Yet now be strong . . . all you people of the land, declares the Lord. Work, for I am with you . . . Haggai 2:3-4
When I made my first attempt at recovery, I met those who had a decade or more of clean time. I wanted my misery to be that far behind me as well, but ten years of sobriety seemed like forever. I just didn’t know how I was going to make it that long without failing. I wanted to go the rest of my life without relapsing, but honestly, I was struggling just to make it through one day.
I told this to my sponsor, who wisely repeated the AA phrase, One Day at a Time. Right now, you don’t have to worry about ten years. Just worry about doing what’s right today. Tomorrow, do the same.
Haggai and the Israelites also met with what seemed like insurmountable odds. Tasked with rebuilding the temple after its destruction, they became overwhelmed and quit. Haggai’s job was to motivate them to finish the project, which they knew would take years. They eventually obeyed, laboring with slow progress and wouldn’t see the end product for thirty years. Day by day, and brick by brick, they followed God, rather than their own way. In the end, they rebuilt the temple, but for them, the profound difference in their lives was not the end product, but rather the fact that they obeyed and followed God daily.
This is where I struggled and this is where I failed. I wanted ten years of sobriety right now, but I remained unwilling to do today what it took to abandon my way. So, I made it only a short time before relapsing. Now, in authentic recovery, I daily make a genuine effort to turn from my path to follow God’s. I don’t do it perfectly, but I’ve not relapsed for years and I don’t plan to, because today, I’ll do what it takes to follow God, remaining in recovery. Tomorrow, I’ll do the same.