Today I am writing in honor of, but not exclusively to, the many fall 2008 students who have almost made it past the September mile marker but not yet across the December finish line. My heart goes out to you and my prayers reach up for you, but I know it won’t be adequate!
“What?” you say, “Prayer, not adequate?”
I’m reminded of my son Andrew. Before he left to serve an LDS mission, he completed his first four-month experience at the university. Math was the biggest challenge of the semester. He showed up for class, did his homework, and prayed for help. But his test scores were not encouraging. At the beginning of the semester I discussed with him the blessing the “math lab” had been to his older sister. He exhibited absolutely no interest. As the semester wore on and math depression set in, every once in a while, in my best “Cautious now, don’t give your college boy too much motherly advice” voice, I would suggest he make a visit to the math lab. He would look at me with a bit of disgust in his eyes and say, “Oh…they won’t be able to help me!”
Finally, when there was just enough time left to pull his grade out of the cellar he came home one day with a big grin on his face and announced that the math lab was the greatest place on campus.
Like math, application of the 12 steps is not a do it yourself project. A common discovery among those who struggle with compulsive/addictive behavior and are finally reaching out for help is that, “It was my best efforts that got me into this mess.”
So often we decide that we are either beyond the help of others or that our problem is to menial for anyone’s attention. “Oh…they won’t be able to help me!” We wait and wait and try to go it on our own, making promise after promise, resolution after resolution, until the pain of our problem finally drives us to seek the help we needed and could have had much sooner.
Those who are finding success living in recovery reach out for help everyday and sometimes multiple times a day. It takes humility to admit you need to be in the math lab, that you can’t figure it our by yourself. It takes great humility to make a phone call during a time of temptation; to go to recovery meetings; to make an appointment with the Bishop and tell him you are ready to accept his assistance in the repentance process; to ask someone to help you do an inventory of your part in some problem or situation and to help you see how you might make amends. When we reach out we let go of our prideful need to be self-sufficient.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Addiction Recovery Program is the “lab” for anyone who is struggling with compulsive/addictive behavior, and for those who cannot readily identify with addiction. It is the “lab” for anyone who feels helpless and powerless to resolve any of the problems of life. The Mission Statement reads, “…As we practice these 12 steps in our lives, we receive power through the Atonement of Jesus Christ…” Practicing the steps is not a solitary work.
President Gordon B. Hinckley said that you need, “a friend in the Church to whom you can constantly turn, who will walk beside you, who will answer your questions, who will understand your problems” (Ensign, Oct. 2006, 4). He also said: “…Band together and strengthen one another. And when the time of temptation comes, you will have someone to lean on, someone to bless you and give you strength when you need it. That is what this Church is for, so that we can help one another in our times of weakness…” (Eugene Oregon Regional Conference, September 15, 1996)
I don’t want to resist my need for the “lab” (my need to receive help). My progress requires that I seek support. The Lord has made the recourses available so that I don’t have to wait until the end of the semester, or the end of day, or even the end of hour.
By Nannette W.
Posted Monday, September 29, 2008
Copyright 2008 by Nannette W. All right reserved.
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