The Dead Sea.
Not only the lowest place on planet earth, it’s one of those places where for years and years it has been given to. It has been continually fed fresh, lively, healthy things from other rivers and streams from the mountains in the area that make their way into this body of water. An over-abundance of good has been provided. But there are no exchanges. No cycling, and no natural flushing.
Nothing, but receiving. And because of that nothing lives in the Dead Sea.
If the Dead Sea were a person they might live a somewhat isolated, desolate, life with imbalanced relationships, never realizing that they were holding the key to unlocking their own joy all along.
I believe that I am the happiest that I have ever been in my life. This very season. My small, imperfect, messy, perfect for me life. I see that to love means to get off my ass and take action; to move and to do, and to let others in. To show love and to share what I have learned. To invest. To allow myself to receive, but also, to be vigilant about my own level of giving freely. A revolving door of the giving and receiving of love.
Both the Bible and The Twelve Steps place specific emphasis on the importance and value of carrying important messages to other people. It is obvious that we aren’t supposed to tuck these life-changing messages in our hearts, without sharing them with other people:
- The Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20)
You do not have to identify as an Evangelical in order to share what God has done in your life, or to point other people to Jesus. For Jesus followers, we can do in so many colorful ways and just as many simple and subtle ways. We are all really just a bunch of regular people, doing spectacular work through the Grace and Strength provided to us, through Jesus, to being glory to God. Sometimes fun, sometimes taxing, always soul-replenishing, consistently worth it, constantly rewarding, but always requires us to step into the unknown. It takes action on our part. We have to accept the challenges.
I can’t imagine just sitting back and basking in the beauty of how God’s Grace has changed my life. He healed my broken-heart and he bound my wounds. But eventually I felt like I had to woman-up and rip the band-aid off. I had to break out of my comfy shell and share some of the love that has been poured into my life. I had to let the scars show the evidence of His healing. I had to uncover them all and share what has happened. It’s not a secret anymore. Keeping it covered would have only ignited an ego infection underneath my tightly wound bandages.
- Carrying The Message.
–Celebrate Recovery Step #12: Having had a spiritual experience as the result of these steps, we try to carry this message to others and practice these principles in all our affairs.
–Narcotics Anonymous Step #12: Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to addicts, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
–Alcoholics Anonymous Step #12: 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.
I can’t keep going back to the safety of some room, seeking that one comfy chair, in that familiar church basement that I have dubbed my own, to tell the same stories over and over to the same people.
As we share hope with others who desperately need it, we increase our own faith in hope. When we invest in others, we deepen our relationship with ourselves, and with God at the same time. It is the weirdest most fulfilling process I have ever experienced, aside from watching my children grow, learn, and accomplish things.
Love always begs us get off our asses, doesn’t it? The Great Commission tells us to GO and step 12 tells us to CARRY.
And I don’t know about you but I don’t want to become a pool of oily, salty, stagnant, tucked away, love. I want to keep cycling, to keep it moving, to keep flushing, and to keep pouring into others. It is unhealthy for me and useless to God and His plans. At the very least, we need to be open and willing to move, whether it is to GO or to CARRY, if that is what we are supposed to do.