Courage is faith that has said its prayers—AA Slogan
As we seek to do God’s will daily, which is essential to maintaining sobriety, we must also think about the future. After all, planning ahead is an important part of life. To be sure, there are times when all a recovering person can do is make it through the day. I understand this, but days like those usually occur early in sobriety.
Once the desire to drink is no longer a daily obsession, the recovering alcoholic can actually plan for the future—free from the debilitating behavior that created and perpetuated alcoholism.
Even better, we can be free from alcoholic thinking. We can recognize that in Christ our capacity to produce good behavior has greatly increased. We are no longer creatures of the night—tossed about by self-destructive cravings that bind us to failures of our past. We are becoming much better people than this. Thus, we can actually come to the place where we ask God about His plans for our future, rather than repeatedly begging Him to forgive us for our past behavior.
Instead of continuous failure, we can look forward to living an honorable life filled with worthwhile activities. We can actually think about how we can become the person God intends for us to be. When we reach this point, which takes a while but is more than wishful thinking, the principles of sobriety will enter our souls. This is what makes our natures truly sober—not just our behavior. When this happens, and it will, fulfilled in life can occur.
So, dream big. The failures of your past no longer need to define your future. If this is your desire, join me in this prayer.
I know who I am.
My past is ever before me, weighing me down.
I see my shame and cringe at the things I have done.
O, how I regret my greedy willfulness,
And how I have hurt others with no other
Purpose than to enhance my pleasure.
My sin is ever before me,
Grinding me down and keeping me
From being a better version of myself.
Is my remorse to be my lot in life forever?
Or, can I finally divest myself of the poisonous
Attitudes that have made my life a wasteland,
Filled with purposeless self-destruction?
In my heart, I know the answer,
But I have difficulty letting go of my guilt.
In my head, I know You have forgiven me,
But in my heart, I have refused to accept
Your forgiveness—not completely.
Father, I need You to change my heart—
To renew my spirit, so that I can
Be free from the shackled of my past
That have tied me to my repeated failures.
Create in me a clean heart, Lord,
So that I can smile at the future—
No longer be hobbled by my transgressions,
“For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord,
“plans for welfare and not calamity to give you a future and a hope”