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More or Less Church

Joanna Depue "DJ/Deacon J" writes original songs and liturgies, does daily Farm office work and records Barbara's eMos on The Geranium Farm. A singer and dog trainer she utilizes healing touch in her private massage practice. PLEASE share YOUR original ideas for worship, special liturgies, prayers, songs, sermons and noteworthy blogs right here.
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Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Twelve Steps and Lent: Step 7

Step 7: Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

It should seems easy after you've been through the six prior steps to face this one liner.

When it comes to making changes in your life - the way you live it, the way you treat people, the way you govern your affairs and finances - "should" is a word that gets bantered about quite a lot. Often - most often- it has been some entity outside of yourself showering you with 'should's. Everything from you should stand up straight and stop biting your nails to you should be nice to that older person who can't hear very well to you should buy the most expensive, gas guzzling car because it says something powerful about you.

We are thin-skinned creatures and the shoulds soak into us - often insignificant 'should's. This outside guide - which in our early years is a positive tool to guide us through unknown waters- over the years is rejected (remember those rosy teen years???)and at the same time internalized.

Instead of the 'should's being showered on us from without, the inner shoulds have taken hold and are fierce.

What does all of this have to do with 'removing our shortcomings'.? In entering into this level of radical surrender, we must face our daily demons on a daily basis without the inner battering ram shattering an appropriate level of esteem - self esteem. We cannot fall back on could-a, would-a or should-a any more. We fall back on God who knows intimately what our shortcomings, failings, temptations (and their accompanying excuses, rationalizations and reactions)are.

Without these shortcomings we are approaching a new slate - wonderful and scary at the same time... and in the next few steps will get the chalk and the eraser to look at our situations less through the lens of pity or blaming others or resorting to substances to dull the pain that is either real or anticipated. We we be seeing clearly - freely - unhindered by the expectations on the interior or the exterior.

That Higher Power - in all, with all, through all - can become our compass, pointing us in the direction best for us. If your shortcoming is trust, this will be yet another big leap - and you will make it to the other side with a mantra from our prayerbook.....'I WILL, with God's help'.


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