Do you have a spiritual advisor of your faith? How does this benefit your conscious contact?
I have always been fortunate in having someone to guide me in my spiritual quest. In the beginning a very simple man from Santa Monica was there to constantly remind me of the truths discussed in the “Big Book” regarding spiritual matters.
I still recall how miserable I was feeling early on in my recovery; while doing my 4th step, I was trying not to dwell only on my wretched behaviors of the past. Yet there I was still full of self-contempt. I was at a point of desperation, ready to say forget it, when the phone rang.
It was my friend, calling just to check in, just to see how I was doing. I quickly explained that I was feeling totally depressed, worthless and hopeless. My friend stopped me as I was thoroughly condemning myself and began to ask me a series of questions.
He asked, David, have you found a loving God since joining the fellowship? I responded yes I suppose so. David, he proceeded; is God also a forgiving God? Again, I said yes. Then came the cruncher; he asked, David, Has God forgiven you? Once more I said I think so. He added then who are you….not to also forgive yourself?
I have come a long way since then. I now understand that grace is a gift freely given. It cannot be earned, stolen, or purchased. A favorite scripture of mine is, “Where no wise guidance is, the people fall, but in the multitude of counselors there is safety” (Prov. 11:14). Or even stronger is Prov. 12:15 it says, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who listens to counsel is wise.”
I have not gone through a period of time since my friend in Santa Monica provided such sage advice that I have not utilized the counsel of others. If there is a guiding principle that I have come to embrace it is this; no one person has a corner on absolute truth. I say this once again, no one person has a corner on absolute truth! Recognizing that this includes myself, inevitably brings me to the logical conclusion that I must always seek counsel or be found a fool.
It is good at times to reflect on the fact that our experiences and our personal knowledge are very limited. There is what little I think I know. There are the things I know I don’t know. And then there is a universe of things that I just do not know. In the vastness of time and space the amount of what I actually know is nothing more than a dot against the backdrop of a night sky.
What absolute foolish arrogance the man who refuses counsel must possess. I pray that I never again experience such a personal hell. I can’t. We can!