"Self seeking will slip away"
It's interesting how life works once one gets sober. For the first 52 years of my life I thought my main problem was money. If I just had enough of it, life would be okay. I would have enough alcohol. I would have enough drugs. I would have enough women. I would have a nice home and car of my dreams. Everything would be perfect.
But when those things didn't come to me, in spite of what I thought were my best efforts, I just drank and used more and more to drown my failures. My deep down belief was that I would die an early death of cirrhosis. Or else end up back in prison, where I had spent much of my life.
That's why Promise Eight is so interesting to me.
And it's interesting to me because once I finally surrendered to the idea that I could no longer use alcohol or drugs successfully my life began to slowly change. After being sober just six months I had my old job back. I was living in a decent halfway house. I had a new bicycle. Sometimes I rode the bus. My wardrobe was starting to get back together. And for once, I had a sense of freedom and happiness that I hadn't experienced since I was a child. I found myself no longer depressed and demoralized.
Self-gratification and self-seeking were no longer the focal point of my life. I just enjoyed being sober and being free of the fear, the nameless fear, that comes with being an addict who is using. All of the things I used to fantasize about having, the material things, the ego things, seemed to fade into the background of my subconscious. No longer was I seeking those things.
Yet once the alcohol and drugs were removed from my life miraculous things started happening. Not overnight mind you. But changes started happening almost with no effort on my part. Or seemingly no effort.
Within a year I opened my own recovery program. And while I was working another full-time job at a company where I was previously worked, I thought that opening a halfway house would help me stay in touch with my recovery. Little did I know that God had other plans. In no time the three houses I had purchased were full. And I had to look for different places to put those looking for recovery.
Now mind you I had no money, I had no financial backers, and I had zero credit. Yet somehow I was able to acquire property with no money down and no credit. Soon TLC had almost 300 clients. In fact, we had so many people that I had to quit the job I had so I could spend full-time at the halfway house. At the beginning of the third year I began paying myself a $200 a week salary.
As it says in Promise Eight "self-seeking" will slip away. And that's what happened for me. I was so busy taking care of the many addicts streaming in our doors that I didn't have much time to think about myself.
As time went on, all the things I used to fantasize about having begun to materialize in my life – seemingly without effort on my part. All I did was focus on helping others get sober and clean. Helping them get jobs. Giving them encouragement when things looked the darkest.
It's interesting that when things became about helping other people and not seeking things for myself everything I used to think about all my life began to show up. It was almost magical. And while I don't pretend to understand how God works, I know that when we give to others somehow we always have what we need.
And even some of what we want.Click here to email John