The First Step Every Day
Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off. Acts 13:3
I didn’t just wake up one day, lying, cheating, and stealing, so I could use and abuse opiate pain pills. When I did finally look at my life and realized where I was and what I was doing, it was horrifying. How did it come to this? This isn’t who I am. How did I get here? I got there of course, one small step at a time. Every day, I turned my course a little further from where I wanted to be, then, I just kept walking, one step at a time. Eventually, I was so far down a road that I never meant to go that I didn’t even recognize myself.
Each step in the wrong direction was small in itself. Surely one more pill isn’t that big of deal. Gradually though, I gave away more and more of myself, surrendering what I knew to be right. Consistently moving in the wrong direction for 10 or 15 years though, eventually adds up. I never meant for my addiction to get that out of hand, but little by little, I became a monster.
In recovery then, the opposite has had to happen. Once I got clean, I wanted everything to be restored immediately. Fifteen years of going the wrong direction isn’t undone in a day though. If I wanted to get my life back, I had to start walking in the right direction, one day and one step at a time.
In today’s passage, the apostles Barnabas and Saul prepared for a missionary journey. To start off their trip off the right way, they prayed and fasted. They made a conscious effort to point themselves at God before they began walking. Then, once they were properly oriented, they set out.
This is what I must do every day. I don’t necessarily need to fast daily. I do though, need to get up every morning and make a conscious effort to point my life at God instead of myself. In failing to do this, I just naturally turn to my way. That’s my default direction and it leads to destruction. If I want the life that God wants for me, the life of faith and recovery, then daily, I must purposefully point myself at him. Then, I start walking, one step at a time.