Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

~ Step 4 of the Twelve Steps

[I] enjoy writing.  Writing for me has been cathartic; it has changed me for the good.  I write fairly consistently and purposefully in my journal.  Until recently my journal as been limited to two eyes, mine.  I am realizing now that a couple more eyes may be peeking at my journal and that thought frightens me a bit.  I write something and then being extremely human I start to worry; will it be good, will they like it?  Will there be an ounce of edification or encouragement to it.  Funny thing but somewhere on the way to press I came to the realization that I write for myself.  I write for myself and at the same time I grant permission to anyone who would like to read my journal to have a peek.   I have also come to understand that God is fond of me.  He will, if I am willing, do what it takes to continue me on the path that He designed for me.  Recently He, rather against my will, put me in a “recovery group” with a couple fellows who are new to sobriety.  “Recovery group” being church speak for a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous.  He at the same time put back in my hands a book by Richard Rohr, Breathing Under Water, Spirituality and the Twelve Steps.  He got a bit sneaky with me at this point and had me carry the book along at the North Las Vegas Premium Outlet Center.  He had me read chapter 4, “A Good Lamp”, as Debbie shopped in Anne Fontaine for what seemed a superhuman period of time.  So here I am, unwittingly in the middle of my 4th step once again.  I, now in my 4th step and the four or five sets of eyes who will read this unwittingly listening to my 5th step.

Back to Ohio…….well sort of….

I can assure you that we cynics are not cynics by choice.  To some degree this is a learned skill, probably born of fear.  Some of my cynical nature is generational in nature, sins of the fathers, a gift from my own father as it were….

I am wildly crazy about my wife.   One of the things I dearly love about her and am envious of is her ability to live in the moment.  Deb is not burdened with some internal requirement to be three or four steps down the road in every aspect of her life.  Of course she plans, she considers and is in no way naïve, but in a beautiful way she allows her brain and being to experience life and allows it’s moments to arrive in their natural course and in their natural timing. These moments are presented to her and she lives them fully, allowing each moment to wash over her.  This is Deb, this is not me!   I am, as my Friday morning men’s group would put it, constantly in a “board meeting”.  A quorum gathers in my head into which every voice gathered needs to be heard.  Occasionally a good or correct word is heard.  Sometimes a correction to course heading is understood and heeded.  Honestly though, and for the most part, all that is heard is distracting chatter. Chatter, which robs me of the moment I am in.  Chatter that more than likely blocks out the subtle whisper of the Holy Spirit.   The math is fairly simple; when my mind is constantly dashing out in front, I have just lost the beauty and the blessings of the moment I am in.

Oddly on this day with Lyle, in the ballroom of the Holiday Inn, I was ushered not only to my seat but ushered into a series of moments.  A gentle hand, in my estimation, a supernatural hand guided me into a peace.  Peace and an appreciation for the moments Lyle and I were being gifted with.

I will not confess the whole laundry list of objections I had formed.  I will tell you that it started with potential financial gain.  Potential financial gain on the backs of folks who were hurting and frightened, folks who carried hope along with their ninety-five dollar ticket.   The objections started there and they, based upon one’s own perspective, headed either up or down from that point.  Objections would be formed, the “board” would convene, and the “members” would initiate the discussion.  Then as quickly as the meeting began a new voice was heard.  A calming voice would be heard and a peace would begin to fill the “boardroom”.  I am not saying I heard an audible voice but if I had to put words to it, it would be something like; “Scott, relax, we can come back to that, maybe you have a point but relax now Scott and allow this to be”.  This occurrence or phenomenon or experience or whatever it should be called happened over and over again.   Objection raised, discussion commenced, voice of peace and patience arriving to usher it away as fast as it arrived.   I do not want to sound melodramatic, but this process began to occur in slow motion.  Slow, as if to allow me to witness and feel the coming, the going and then the wake of peace being left behind.   I was receiving a gift, a gift of moments.  I had been granted some type of spiritual permission to lay down my objections, laying them aside to experience what was about to occur.  I now found myself in rarified air; I was in the moment.   For four hours I watched, witnessed and participated.  I prayed, I cried, I allowed these moments to change my heart.