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June 20, 2013

The Will of the Father in All Things

I recently came across this talk from Elder Holland entitled “The Will of the Father in all things” and thought I would share it along with some of the thoughts I had regarding step 3 when I read it.
First of all I love that he brings out the point that Christ is the perfect example of one that trusted in and submitted to the Father. Not just in Gethsemane but in every day of His life He was focused on doing His Father’s will. Understanding that Christ is the one that was able to take step three perfectly every day of His life helps me in two ways.

First it helps me to overcome Satan’s HUGE lie that by submitting my will I am going to lose freedom. Nobody has ever been more trusting and submissive than Christ, nobody. At the same time, nobody has ultimately enjoyed more freedom and enjoyed more happiness than Christ. To believe that I am placing myself in bondage by submitting to my Father is to believe that Christ is somehow the most bound and fettered of all, and can I really believe that? Second it helps me to know that my Savior (the one that I am counting on for my recovery, the one that I decided in step two has the power to restore me, the one that ultimately I am deciding to put my trust in) has been able to trust perfectly in His Father. Christ, my companion in recovery, knows EXACTLY what it means to Trust in God and turn EVERYTHING over to Him (He is the only child that has ever done it perfectly) and he promises that he will teach me how to do what He has already done. Sometimes the thought has come that “well yeah, Christ was able to trust perfectly, but I am NOT Christ and I am not even close. I am the guy that makes promises and breaks them and doesn’t get it right. I am the guy that keeps turning to pornography time and time again. I am the guy that knows exactly what the Father wants him to do and promises to do it, and then doesn’t” In step two I decided to believe that this same Christ could restore me and part of step three is keeping that belief from step two that He will not just teach me but that He will make it possible for me to Trust in God and submit to Him in all things.

I feel that Elder Holland summarized step 3 perfectly with this statement: “We must be willing to place all that we have—not just our possessions (they may be the easiest things of all to give up), but also our ambition and pride and stubbornness and vanity—we must place it all on the altar’ of God, kneel there in silent submission, and willingly walk away”. Every time I read this I am reminded that God is not just interested in me saying to Him “ok I am ready to stop looking at pornography” or “ok I am ready to start reading a praying every day” or “I am ready to attend meetings every day and work with a sponsor” or “I am ready to really try to keep the commandments”. Those are all things that I do or do not DO. What He is really interested in is ME. Elder Holland and the Big Book both talk about actors and the stage of life. The Big Book talks about deciding who the Director is going to be. For me step 3 has come down to a basic image in my head: I see a universe (my universe) that has planets and stars all circling around one center, around one focus, and that focus is Me. They all revolve around Me and serve a purpose for Me and are measured in their relation to Me. The decision of step 3 for me is to replace the center of that universe (my universe) with God. To decide that today all things are going to revolve around Him and serve a purpose for Him and be measured in relation to Him. The fact that I can make that decision “willingly” as Elder Holland puts it is one of the greatest opportunities that I will ever have, and it is an opportunity that comes to me EVERY morning and throughout every day. I get scared sometimes when I think of giving my will to the Lord because I focus on outcomes and fears and ambitions and pride. But EVERY TIME I feel that way I can look inside of my mind and picture that universe (my universe) and I will always see the same thing at the center…ME. If I then make the decision again to place God at the center of the universe in my head, I find that my fears are not as powerful (or are gone completely). This is part of how I practice step three.