Thursday, July 20, 2017
I heard a wonderful analogy to spiritual growth: a power outage. In a power outage you are in the dark. No power. By yourself, at this moment you can do nothing but wait, hope, pray, and maybe grumble and whine. But you cannot make the power come back on. Then there is a flicker of light. Hope. There is help out there. Then full power comes on, and you are in the light. Why did the power go out? Lack of maintenance. Now in the spiritual journey, you take light for granted, and so you don't worry about maintenance. You spiritual center is the power grid. In time, with no maintenance of a spiritual condition, no prayer, meditation, diet, exercise, right living, the grid goes bust and you suddenly find yourself in the dark, the bottom of darkness. Help! You cannot find the self-power to bring back the light. You are not the power. You wait. You make promises to whatever, to reform, change, do something differently, so that this won't happen again. Then the flicker. This is the first faint stage of recovery from the darkness. Waiting is better than bad living. Then the light comes back on. It came from a power not your own. If your promises to change hold up, then you begin to do maintenance on the grid, so that you stay in the light. All recovering alcoholics know this. Live badly, maintenance free. Darkness: the bottom. Powerlessness. A flicker of hope from somewhere as you are introduced to the Program of Recovery. Then the light. Daily maintenance is the ongoing journey. The next time you are stuck in a New York Subway, or waiting for one that does not come, may this be a reminder: daily maintenance of your spiritual condition. using the darkness never seems to bring back the light.