Perhaps one of our greatest challenges in life is walking that mile. We have endured painful obstacles in promoting a healthy family atmosphere. We have worked in jobs that were nothing more than a weekly paycheck. We have served our country to the best of our abilities only to be spat upon and denigrated. We have given beyond expectations and then been told “that’s not enough.” We have sacrificed personal comfort and security in vain attempts to be the people we thought we ought to be.
Yes, we are good people; no, we are GREAT people. None on earth can dispute America’s generosity and charity as shown through numerous relief agencies and private funding of world need. Good will is synonymous with the United States of America.
Yet, individually, many of us are unwilling or spiritually unable to walk a most difficult mile. We are quick to point out another’s deficiencies, to make judgements, to take inventories and absolve ourselves from personal responsibility for that person’s well-being. We no longer value our role as the keepers of brothers. Ego and self promotion are the founding principles in our lives. Perhaps we have always been this way and only now in our condensed, sardine can society it is more obvious.
How much more effort and sacrifice would be required of us to take that most difficult mile, the one walked in another man’s shoes? We have all heard this bit of wisdom; some say it’s American Native folklore. But what would happen when, instead of condemning a man for his behavior, we could change places with him, envision our behavior in his situation, consider what we would do given his circumstances?
Even then, when we have walked that mile with him and our attitude remains harsh, our HP takes us to another principle of his Kingdom. Forgiveness, for most of us, is just as difficult but, equally necessary.
“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive others” is a fundamental tenet of our fellowship and for anyone who seeks a ‘clean and serene’ life. As recovering brothers and sisters we believe our HP has forgiven our lifetime mess and continues to forgive our human nature while we continue in His service. To deny forgiveness to others is akin to denying that God has forgiven us, that our sins were too great to be forgiven even by the most awesome and omnipotent power in the universe, and that his example of forgiveness is not applicable in our lives. When we don’t forgive, we are rejecting the power of HP to transform our lives.
We do not aspire to perfection. Growth is our objective. Let’s be willing to walk that difficult mile with our brothers and sisters and then extend the forgiveness which our HP has accorded to us. For most of us this is the most difficult mile we will ever walk. But, it can also be the most beautiful, enlightening experience of a lifetime.
“Father, we honor in holiness your name; we seek your kingdom as we yearn for your will in our lives. Let it be here within us that you dwell. Give us spiritual food for this day. Forgive our trespasses and guide us to forgive our brothers and sisters just as you have forgiven us. May our fellowship with others in sober living and our love for You keep the temptations of alcohol at bay; protect us from our demons. We recognize and revere your omnipotence and power which is everlasting. Amen.”