Friday, September 02, 2005

It's not really ALL about me...

I promise, after the weekend - especially with the beginning of the Celebration of Discipline study - you'll be hearing more spiritual stuff and less of the mundane day-to-day stuff from me (at least for a while). It's been kinda frustrating, but the process of getting this apartment ready for human habitation has been more time consuming (and more frustrating) than I could probably describe.

I know it will be good when it gets done (95% of which will happen this weekend), but it's just really annoying right now. God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change...courage to change the things I can...and the wisdom to know what the heck to do next...

I had the opportunity last night to talk to a person newly back in recovery - after more than 15 years of dry time. (Needless to say, as a guy coming up on that mark, I found his story a little scary.) He'd moved to Chicago a couple months ago, and was visiting for the first time at the Thursday night meeting I've been chairing. He'd been to some other meetings in town, but this was his first time at that particular meeting.

I was told, a long time ago, that when someone's new, that I need to get them my phone number and a chance to talk - which I did. But I was surprised when this fellow called me last night - usually the new guys aren't that eager to get connected.

It's strange - this fellow still has much that I could envy - at 36, he's still a good lookin' fellow, very fit, with a great deal of brain power still remaining, and ready to take on a 1-year masters' degree at the University of Chicago. He's got enough money to be living in a high-rise in Hyde Park overlooking the lake, despite being unemployed for a while. All in all, what folks in recovery might call "a high bottom."

But he made the point-blank declaration that his addictions had "kicked his ass," and I know that feeling. So I wouldn't trade lives with him - not today, anyway. And God gave me enough sense to just shut up and listen. The result seems to be that I have a new friend. And since those who know me are well aware that "just shut up" is not something I often do, I choose to see that as the proof of God still being able to "get through" to me...

For now, it's back to getting ready to get to work. I'll leave you with this meditation from Henri Nouwen's Bread for the Journey, this one from August 6th:
Being Joyful Witnesses

To speak about Jesus and his divine work of salvation shouldn't be a burden or a heavy obligation. When we go to people feeling that unless they accept our way of knowing Jesus, they are lost and we are failures, it is hardly possible to be true witnesses.

It is a great joy when people recognise through our witness that Jesus is the divine redeemer who opened for them the way to God. It is a true cause for gratitude and celebration. But we should also be able to live joyful and grateful lives when our witness with deeds and words does not lead people to accept Jesus in the way we do.
Amen, br'er Henri - amen.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi. I just met you and I need to comment. Hope it's okay.
High bottom/low bottom is relative as we come to understand and we mustn't compare stories. If someone dies falling off a four story building, they're as dead as someone who died falling off a thirty story building. Hope you never give up 'listening.'
btw: I also blog at The Omnibus and left comment at the 'test' site. see ya.