An incredibly large percentage of the people I’ve spoken with in recovery about God have a similar story to tell. In one way or another, they feel that God has let them down, or betrayed them, or they blame God for the actions of people claiming to represent Him.
In my case, I had been taught that God was angry and short-tempered; He watched my every move just waiting for the next time I screwed up. I came into The Rooms with the belief that my purpose was to be a “Whipping boy” whenever He felt like punishing someone. I certainly was never anywhere near perfect, so I knew that I deserved every bit of pain and sorrow that I received.
Not coincidentally, my vision of who God was looked remarkably like my Dad: overbearing, rageful, impatient, and entirely frightening.
As I was thinking about this, I was reminded of something a friend said to me many years ago, in regards to establishing a relationship with my Creator.
I was in perpetual “bowing and scraping” mode. I was way too ashamed and fearful and guilt-ridden to even consider approaching God. Rather than beginning, I would stay stuck in the endless reasons I had for why He would not welcome any interaction with me. I was positive that I was better off doing everything I could to stay invisible to Him.
My friend told me that as far as this “introduction” to (hopefully) a loving God went, I didn’t have to put my foot on the gas pedal: I simply had to take it off of the brakes.
Instead of fighting to keep God at a distance, perhaps I just needed to stop running away, and stand still.
There have been periods in my recovery where I’ve done a better job at coasting than others.
I was talking about the “g” word with a friend recently, and she said that she was ready to start moving closer to God. It sounded like she was seriously standing on the brakes…but there is a lot to be said for “acting as if”!
I get it. Apprehension and trepidation were my closest associates in my early days of sobriety. All I can do, after all, is share my experience, strength and hope. One of the most amazing parts of early sobriety, for me, was the (gradual) realization that I was not God. I’m gonna try not to interfere as He works His loving ways with my friend. I just hope I’ll get to watch, and that I might somehow be helpful as she inches toward the loving Father of Whom she’s in desperate need.
He knows what skittish little kittens we can be. I imagine Him sitting still with His back to us as we creep ever so silently toward Him…letting us take all the time we need, while gently coaxing us to come nearer so He can rub our fur and scratch us in the best spots. 🙂
In considering “the god part” or your Recovery, I would suggest that, rather than the thought of throwing the door wide open to “whatever” may be on the other side of it, maybe just open it a crack, and then pause.
Instead of focusing on all of my “problems with God”, things that I don’t understand/agree with, my life has progressed in a positive direction when I concentrate on learning about the simplicities of His character. He wrote a book as an introduction, but I believed the hype instead of seeing for myself. I’ve gotta tell you, it’s been worth it, to investigate for myself. Standing on the brakes get tiring. He hasn’t steered me wrong even once.
Posted from my cabin in the mountains.