Seeking Good Orderly Direction

The Rev. Geoffrey Butcher, Priest-in-Charge - Trinity Episcopal Church, Russellville

A dear friend of mine in continuing recovery from substance and behavioral addictions says that the letters in the word “God” stand for Good Orderly Direction. In his story he says that there was a hole in his soul. He was looking for ways to feel good about himself when he was feeling unworthy or of little value to others. Drugs, alcohol, over eating, sexual addiction, and other obsessions he noted as ways that people try to fill the emptiness of there lives with pleasure, even if it is only momentary. But the problem won’t be resolved, he said, if the hole in one’s soul is not healed.

My friend, I’ll call him Tim, has had a remarkable recovery from those things that were twisting his life from one direction to another when he sought help for his soul. He had been brought up in a Christian denomination that emphasized the unworthiness of human beings, proclaiming that most people were destined for hell. There was little talk about being loved as a child of God, and the unconditional love of God

that knows no exceptions. Condemnation in his training surpassed redemption. With this kind of teaching his soul withered. His self-esteem was in shreds. It wasn’t until he could feel the heartbeat of God that he found acceptance of himself as he is and find orderly direction by which to move forward.

Tim found this new direction through twelve step programs and by becoming a member of a church that emphasized the abounding love of God. He discovered hope. The joys of resurrected living turned the powers of death into opportunities for new life. He realized that he would always have an addictive personality, but isn’t that true for all of us? The question is how each of us will manage our personality flaws that can tear us apart and leave us empty. Healing, he noted, has to occur within the person suffering. No one else can fix it. One has to come to one’s senses and allow Love to heal the hole in one’s souls.

The questions an addict needs to ask are good for all of us. Will we seek to find a power greater than ourselves that can provide good orderly direction? As the Serenity Prayer says, the answer is to ask God to grant “Serenity to accept the things I cannot change; Courage to change the things I can; and Wisdom to know the difference.”

The Rev. Geoffrey Butcher, Priest-in-Charge

Trinity Episcopal Church, Russellville

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