James 1:12 NIV
“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”
There’s a time in everyone’s life when he/she lose their youthful innocence and realize that life will slap you across the face every chance it gets. For most of us it’s sometime in our teens, for far too many, it starts well before that, maybe due to poverty, or neglect, or abuse. Regardless of how or when we become aware, we spend the remainder of our lives trying to manipulate and plan this life we live moving forward.
Plans! Plans! Plans! We all have plans. At first we are bursting with energy, full of great ideas and great plans, eager to be all we can be.
But for most of us, we get sidetracked and maybe even bogged down along the way. Some of us turn into alcoholics and drug addicts. Would that fall under the sidetracked category or the bogged down category? I wonder?
Life goes on. The world continues to turn regardless of our lifestyle, regardless of our plans. It is how we respond to life that matters. When life slaps us, when life changes our plans, those who learn, regroup and move on tend to live happier lives.
I lived as an active alcoholic and addict for almost 20 years. During this period in my life I reacted poorly when my plans didn’t materialize. It was always someone else’s fault. This drove me deeper and deeper into addiction. Round and round I would play the scenarios over in my head. Why did this happen? Why did this person or that situation not turn out the way I planned?
It was in sobriety that I was introduced to the concept of consequences. Yes consequences, these things that resulted from my actions…or lack there-of. So here it was. Maybe some of the circumstances, some of the outcomes, in my life were directly related to the way I responded to life changing my plans. Consequences tied to my actions…interesting?
As a sober Christian I have found that life of life’s terms produces less chaos, for me and others, if I consider the consequences of my actions prior to acting. What are my movies behind my plans today? Are my plans selfish, based on ego and the temptations of the world, or are they based on helping someone else, or on simply doing the next right thing?
Life always seems to have a way of changing our plans, taking us down paths and putting us in positions we never dreamed of. When it slaps us, or makes us regroup, our reactions to the slap can change our life, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse.
When living in addiction I thought the slaps came to beat me down and keep me down. But today, I consider the slaps to be wake up calls. Today I am grateful for the slaps that eventually woke me up and helped me find my way out of the darkness and pain.
We fall off the horse and life goes on. We dust ourselves off and get right back on. It the same when we encounter the disappointments that come in this life we live. We react and learn. We consider our motives and the consequences that come.
In faith we persevere under the trials of life. In faith we stay sober for yet another day…regardless of what life has in store. In faith we trudge the narrow path to God.
This is God’s plan.
Have faith my friend. Your reward is waiting if you perseverance.
Jon B. Korn
Alcoholic, Addict and Sinner, Saved by Grace