Today @ The Gathering: Wake Up

Today we began a brand new series entitled “12 Steps Up.” We’ll be talking about how messy people mature over time. We’re using the 12 Steps of AA in making application in our everyday lives; not just how we defeat the demons of our addictions, but how we actually grow up and mature as people.

The first step of course is Wake Up. How many people have you seen and said to yourself, “That person is sleepwalking through life”?

Today we talked about the ways in which we try to get other people to wake up. We shout at them, we “should” them, shame them, and often we shun them but it doesn’t seem to work.

We also looked at how people can hide their addictive lifestyles for so long. We talked about the different ways we all choose a different drug of choice. Not all the things we use to medicate our pain are socially unacceptable. Some things we’re even rewarded for like using work to get approval.

We talked about how to truly wake up and live using the letters ESPN. We talked about exposure, surrender, promise, and getting a new name. Anyone can be set free from their addictions no matter what it is or how long it’s been hanging around. But the first step is to wake up and confess that you are powerless over your addictions, you are powerless to be set free from the things holding you back, and that you need God’s power.

God opposes the proud, but gives mercy to the humble, the Scriptures say. The question is, “When was the last time you humbled yourself before God and used your adversity – whether it’s a flood, cancer, loss of a job, a divorce, or the estrangement from a child – as a wake-up call, to not just see life differently, but to be different?”