Step by Step

No Lenten devotional would be complete without visiting the pioneering, foundational Twelve Steps of the personal recovery movement.  The theological influence immediately evident derives from an Episcopal priest, Father Sam Shoemaker, as we saw yesterday.  I present these transformational elements of any recovery program not because I believe we are all alcoholics in need of abstinence, but rather because I believe we all are beloved children of God beset by the infection of sin.  While God’s Grace is sufficient to heal us, and no effort solely on our part can do that, Sam Shoemaker, my mother and I believe that we can receive, cooperate and invite God’s healing power into our lives for daily transformation.  Following, without my unnecessary and distracting commentary, are Twelve Excellent Ways to welcome that transformation.  Any one will metamorphize your Lent, and all will lead us to the door of the Empty Tomb.  Please enjoy!

 

  1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol—that our lives had become unmanageable.
  2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
  3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
  4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
  5. Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
  6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
  7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.
  8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
  9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
  10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
  11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.
  12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.

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