Come Child

Come Child

adorned

the swaddled and sweet breath

cooing in the world

Come Child

worthy

of visions old and young dreams

focusing the nimbus eyes

Come Child

outpouring

in simple grace come down

filling the offered cup

Come Child

sufficient

unto the everlasting end

being wholly the bequest

Evensong

All sainted and scented

in the grey alcove

I kneeled hunched

and hunkered down

White and blacked robed

a ribbon hanging crucifix

fanning the thurible fire

hot coals of the earth

and heaven’s endless echo

Silent smoke and words spoke

my heart rising

among the russet leaves falling down

I drink the waters of Meribah

witness the sign of Jonah

and climb the Zacchaeus tree

feeling the mercy strife

and uttered moans

Not of my own

but His Word

in even song

Just For Today

Eternity as a word does not mean endless time. It means the condition of no time at all—no past or future, just a constant present. For God there is no past or future. For God, all is now. (Fr. Thomas Hopko)

Early in sobriety you learn that only Today really matters. It’s also one of the most important unknown, unpracticed secrets of Christianity. You can’t do anything about yesterday or tomorrow. There is only ‘Just for Today’ to live.

At the very, very beginning of sobriety you learn not to to drink ‘One Day At A Time’. Don’t drink ‘Just For Today’ and start all over again tomorrow. Thinking ‘I will never be able to drink again will only get you drunk. It cannot be done. You don’t need God yesterday or tomorrow. You need God right now, right here, present in the moment.

“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.”

Matthew 6:34 (The Message Bible)

Many in AA end their prayers with ‘Amen’ and the follow up ‘Just For Today. It cannot be repeated or stressed enough to the new comer.

It seems an impossible thing to do. An impossible way to live. However, It it is the only way we live. You learn to live ‘One Day At A Time’ by living ‘One Day At A Time’. It is like learning to pray by praying. You learn to live ‘One Day At a Time’ by living ‘One Day At A Time.’ Over and over and over again, ‘Just For Today’. It cannot be repeated or stressed enough.

And what if ‘Just For Today’ is to much. Well, you can live one hour at a time. One minute at a time. The important thing is to choose to live in the present moment with God. The truth is, God lives in the present moment with us.

“The most holy and important practice in the spiritual life is the presence of God – that is, every moment to take great pleasure that God is with you.” (Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection – The Practice of The Presence of God)

“Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:20 (The Message Bible)

“O’LORD our God, You gave Your peace to men and sent down the gift of Your All-holy Spirit upon Your disciples and apostles, and by Your power You opened their lips with tongues of fire. Open also my lips and teach me, sinner though I am, how and for what I should pray. Guide my life, O calm Haven of the storm-tossed, and reveal the way in which I should walk. Renew a right spirit within me, and with Your Sovereign Spirit steady my mind, that, guided and guarded each day by Your good Spirit, I may be able to practice Your commandments, always remembering Your glorious presence that looks upon the deeds of men. Let me not be deceived by the corrupting delights of this world, but rather strengthen in me the desire to attain the treasures of the world to come. For blessed and praised are You in all Your saints forever and ever.” (The Ancient Faith Prayer Book – Archimandrite Vassilios Papavassiliou)

First this: God created the Heavens and Earth—all you see, all you don’t see. Earth was a soup of nothingness, a bottomless emptiness, an inky blackness. God’s Spirit brooded like a bird above the watery abyss.
God spoke: “Light!”
And light appeared.
God saw that light was good
and separated light from dark.
God named the light Day,
he named the dark Night.
It was evening, it was morning—
Day One.

Genesis 1:1-5 (The Message Bible)

“This program (Alcoholic Anonymous) works one day at a time and not any faster.” (My friend Gerry L. – sober 34 years)

So does life my friend. So does life.

Automatic Midnight

I Am an old man in the middle of the night

up to piddle

Seeing nothing in my blinded way

I hear the night sounds

Far away

trucks pounding on the distant highway

Close enough

crickets chirping in my backyard

So prayers up and out the bathroom window

into the star dark oblivion

I stumble

back to bed

holy and relieved

Idolatry Sobriety Orthodoxy

The Vocation of Abraham

“The word of God to our Forefather Abraham, ‘Go forth from thy country,’ thou hast received as a command for thyself, as the Lord doth ask to leave all things for His sake. As an inheritance, He hath given thee a distant land, which thou hast won for Him through thy labors. Intercede for us, O holy Father Willibrord, that we may become worthy children of the Light.” (The Divine Liturgy)

This hymn, which we sing every Sunday during The Divine Liturgy at St. Willibrord makes me cry. Each time, the Holy Spirit speaks to my heart about my own journey from Idolatry to Sobriety to Orthodoxy. I have been on this journey for the past 15 years. Déjà vu all over again and again. One-Day-At-A-Time.

“RARELY HAVE we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path … Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened, and what we are like now. If you have decided you want what we have and are willing to go to any length to get it—then you are ready to take certain steps.” (The Big Book – Chapter 5 ‘How It Works’)

Ignited inside every Orthodox soul is an ember that slowly grows into a flame, which needs to be fanned and fueled so that it never fades away. This holy fire—this sacred light of Holy Tradition—becomes a most precious possession. The Orthodox Christian is called to protect, preserve and pass it on pure and whole, keeping it intact in its entirety for each and every believer who comes after him. (Harry Boosalis)

“Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these Steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.( Step 12)

In a nustshell.

Idolatry

Towards the end, the last several years all I wanted to do was drink. I had to drink. All I could do, was drink. It was all that mattered. Alcohol was all I thought about. All I wanted. Alcohol was my life, my god. I could not live without it. I could no longer live with it. The Gift of Desperation.

Sobriety

Complete, absolute change. Repentance. Turn away and start walking in the other direction. A 180. (Steps 1-3. Mark 1:15 and Matthew 3:1-2) No more alcohol, ever again. A new life. A new beginning. A gift, a package I receive and keep unwrapping every day. A new way to live. The gift of New Life. (John 10:9-10)

Orthodoxy

My New Life with God. Right Worship/Glory of The Living Triune God and not my previous idolatry of alcoholic self. The Gift of Mercy and Grace that has been given to me undeservedly. The package I have not yet started to unwrap, but hold in my hands, dumbfounded and stare at and wonder in amazement. Why me?

“There is another meaning for the Hebrew word that in the King James version of the Bible is translated “salvation.” It is: “to come home.” (The Big Book-Chapter 3 – ‘Women Suffer Too’)

Home. No Where any longer, but Now Here, yet to come and forever more.

~ Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and forever and to the ages of ages ~ AMEN