In Recovery from Me
And he said to them, “When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come.” Luke 11:2
I’m pretty sure that I used to be more considerate of other’s opinion and feelings. It seems that over time though, the reinforcement of instant gratification has taught me that I get what I want by pursuing what I want. Over the years, I’ve become more me-focused, which in my case, has eventually led to miserable consequences, most obviously manifesting in my addiction and subsequent disaster.
Recovery then, has not just been about leaving behind drugs. I’m in the process of recovering from me. In recovery, I’ve desperately needed to find something other than my way to follow. This is where today’s passage comes in.
In the narrative, Jesus’ disciples asked him to teach them how to pray. It’s no accident that Jesus told them to first express worship of the father. Hallowed by your name. Why does God ask us to praise him? Does he need to be reminded of how great he is to feel good about himself? God may derive some pleasure from our praise, but I’ve long suspected that worship is more about us assuming our proper position before him.
Praise of God isn’t just about an emotional experience created by music and lighting on Sunday morning. Praise of God is me understanding that he’s God and I’m not. You’re the boss and I’m the follower. It is only in accepting this reality that I can pray Jesus’ next words. Your kingdom come, your will be done (my paraphrase). It is only in an attitude of submission to God, that I can turn from my will to following his.
This is the only adequate solution to my life problem. It is only in daily turning from my way to follow God’s that I can recover from the disaster of me. I wish this were a one-time decision, but as much control as I surrendered yesterday, it’s my nature to take back today. Faith, recovery, and transformation aren’t once-in-a-lifetime events, but rather daily processes that I will be learning for the rest of my life.
So, if we want the new life that can be found only in recovery from ourselves, this must be our daily prayer. I acknowledge you as God. You’re in charge and I’m not. I will daily follow, not me, but you.