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I had an illumination at church service today that I thought I’d share.

The pastor was talking about Psalms 139 prayer and relating it to the 4th Step of Alcoholics Anonymous.

AA’s 4th Step goes like this…

Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

He related it to Psalm 139, which starts out like this…

Search me oh God…

Now I have a great deal of experience with AA. I’m 34 years sober in the program. But in spite of having all this time sober, I’ve never felt like I’ve been successful with the 4th Step. I’ve never really been able to get anywhere trying to search inside myself.

Then I heard this today.

When I put the two together… the 4th Step and the way Psalm 139 puts it… doing the 4th Step seems very much more doable. In the Psalm here, David asks God to do the searching. David doesn’t attempt to do the searching of himself… by himself. This is where I’ve always been hung up.

You see, what I really have inside this head of mine is… a squirrel brain. I’m mentally… cross-eyed. I just can’t see what’s going on in there, in the blackness. I’ve tried and tried and tried to ‘search myself’ and I’ve never been successful at it really.

But I’ve never approached taking the 4th Step a-la Psalm 139.

It’s beautiful.
It’s perfect.

I’m going to try the inventory using the Psalm 139 method. I’m lucky in another way. I can hear the Holy Spirit speaking to me sometimes… when I’m willing to be quiet that is. So I’m going to try to do my best to shut up, and ask God to do the searching. I’m going to present myself to Him with as much humility as I can muster, and be willing to accept all the things He chooses to show me about myself. Whatever that may be! All the stuff I’m made of; the very, very good… the totally ugly… and everything in between. All the stuff that makes me… me.

My job? Listen, and write it all down on paper…. in bold and fearless black and white.

I’m ready to do this inventory now, and after 34 excessively long years of trying, I think I might even be able to have some decent success with it.

Wish me luck… and pray for me!!