I was with a friend today, and we were talking about how Jesus wants each of us to Love and to Forgive the people in our life.
Then I said, “Yes, because all of us are Children of God, regardless of our imperfections, our character flaws and our shortcomings. My friend said yes, that is exactly right.
One of my character defects is that I have a quick temper, and I can become frustrated easily with other people who are not behaving as I would like them to behave. It is usually about me not getting what I want, when I want it and how I want it. People just do not understand that I am the center of the universe and things should always go my way.
So when I am dealing with a difficult store clerk, or a government employee or a customer service agent at Comcast, I can remind myself that all of these people are just trying to do their job, and every one of them is a Child of God.
Ever since I got sober in 1998, I have been hiring men from the Fellowship Club, which is a halfway house for chemically dependent men and women. I graduated from Hazelden and this halfway house 18 years ago. This halfway house is part of the Hazelden Foundation treatment center.
I hire the men as part of my service work and to help the men out. I generally over pay them as part of my way to give back. I have been frustrated lately, because the men I hired seem to be so medicated, that they cannot concentrate on anything. The work is landscaping and there is an element of danger that requires concentration. In one back yard, there were two small dogs that always try to escape. I told the man helping me to make sure that he closes the latch on the gate because if the dogs get out, they will run away and they are very difficult to catch. I made a special point to repeat this instruction five times, and the man confirmed that he understood.
I had to leave the yard to get some supplies and when I approached the gate it was open. Luckily the dogs had not yet seen the opportunity and they were safe. I was not thinking too clearly, because I was upset and fearful about what the consequences would have been if the dogs had been hit by a car. I yelled at the man and said, “I told you five times to make sure to close the gate and here it is wide open, these dogs could have been killed on the road”.
I wish I would have had the spiritual strength and patience to keep my temper, but instead I reacted out of fear and anger. If I had of just reminded myself that this person is, “A Child of God”, before I lost my temper, the result would have been better for both of us.
This is just one example of many in my life where stopping myself and verbally saying the words, “This person is a Child of God”, will allow me to love, forgive and accept the person and not fill my spirit with negative energy like frustration, anger and resentment.
The last reminder, is that I too am A Child of God, and I must learn to be patient and kind and forgiving of myself.
When I was homeless in Denver, Colorado for one year, I finally had come to the end of the long road of addiction. I said a prayer that saved my life: “Jesus, please help me!”
Jesus did not judge me or say, “this man is too great a sinner, he is too far gone, I will have nothing to do with him”. Jesus loved me and He forgave me and He gave me a new life, an abundant life and an opportunity to help other people just like me. Jesus is the perfect example for all of us!
Check out my published book: “Saved By The Prince Of Peace—Dungeon To Sky”. The website is: http://www.dungeontosky.com
Peace and Blessings to you. I pray that you will help many other addicts to find serenity and sobriety.