Dear Lord, please lift me up and heal me.
Cast out of my mind all thoughts that are not of You.
Cast out of me all harsh and critical nature.
Cast out of me all violence and anger.
Cast out of me all demons from my past,
for I would be made new.
Marianne Williamson’s work has been a part of my inspirational readings for many years. Like me, she grew up in the turbulent decades of “drugs, sex, rock and roll.” She also caved to the demons of her times. ILLUMINATA The above excerpt from a prayer for healing reminds me everyday that my “harsh and critical nature” is not totally resolved within me. It is one of the major character defects which can turn my daily interactions into completely chaotic fiascos. Just one word from my quick, unthinking tongue can erase tireless efforts to be the man whom I believe my HP wants me to be. A biting comment, an insult, an unwanted opinion in the morning has the power to shadow me for the entire day. Today, I am aware of my defects and at least now I have the tools to prevent the unkind thoughts and words from ever escaping out of my mouth….most of the time.
We don’t claim spiritual perfection, just progress. Thank God for this disclaimer. Without it I would be eternally lost in the seas of self-loathing and despair believing that I am the least worthy and most despicable of God’s creation. But, my HP delivers to me each new day the strength and resolve to become a better version of the old drunk, to become a vessel carrying his word to a suffering and distraught fellowship of other drunks, and to become a recovering voice in the darkness of addiction. And because he says I am a work in progress, I need not do this perfectly. I merely need the willingness to try.
That same harsh and critical nature is frequently turned inward. I am undoubtedly my own worst critic. If I truly believe that God’s saving grace has covered me with unmerited and undeserved mercy then how dare I dispute the work he has done in my life and the plan he has for me? How dare I criticize the miracle working within me? It is not up to me to judge others or myself. The indwelling Spirit allows me to be the observer of life, allows thoughts to enter and depart without passing judgement on them, allows others to travel this path alongside me without passing judgement on them, and allows me to be nothing more…or less…than a simple messenger.