Don Cobb
The Miracle: Faith and trust -- choices, nothing more than choices
By Don Cobb
April 29, 2009

Principled living is about making right choices. Faith is initially a choice. It takes on a life of it's own after we've chosen to "have faith" a time or two and see that our Creator is faithful and that prayer works. Prayer is a faith builder, and praying is a choice, as well. Prayer starts a healthy cycle which sets Spiritual development in motion, in which Spiritual development actually begins.

Perhaps choosing to trust our Creator isn't quite as easy a choice as faith might be, but it, too, becomes part of the foundation of one's Spiritual development. Both faith and trust are choices, Spiritual principles which are actions we choose to take, or not. Seemingly mysterious, these Spiritual principles in particular tend to be the most elusive, because the Spiritual realm is nothing like the physical realm. God's ways are not our ways. The magnificence of our Creator, when revealed through answered prayer, confounds the mind and baffles us all. Ongoing coincidences experienced by those who choose to pray regularly are nothing short of amazing, and yet are so predictable when one has chosen to become a prayer.

Mindboggling is the word that I think best describes the "coincidences" (actually God incidences) that occur when one begins to be prayerful and invite God to intervene in our lives. People just showing up out of nowhere after many years, and folks who suddenly overcome lifetimes of drug abuse and alcohol to become people who don't want to drink or use drugs anymore. Opportunities, cars, places to live appear in ways which defy logic in how they show up in our lives and/or present themselves after one becomes committed to prayer about issues such as these. There is no way to deny our Creator once we've tried prayer. No one can convince us that God doesn't exist or that He doesn't care about us once we've chosen to step out in faith and trust that He is there and begin to pray about circumstances, needs and people in our lives. Choosing initially to have faith and trust in God is the very means by which our faith grows when one beings to pray. We have not because we ask not.

I admit that the Human condition automatically seems to dictate that when we encounter an obstacle in our lives, we first reach for a hammer to pound it into submission to our will. If that doesn't work, we'll go get a bigger hammer and try to pound Life into submission. The frustration which comes from trying to control that which is out of our control (people, circumstances, the future and the past) definitely seems to justify self-medicating at some point during the day, be it alcohol or other drugs, prescription or street drugs like pot, cocaine, methamphetamine or heroin. It seems logical that, after a hard day of pounding our head against things about which we apparently have no real control (like other people or life circumstances or even our own feelings), 'taking the edge off' seems to make sense. A drink or a bong hit or two seem to bring us the relief we long for when life gets hard.

But does alcohol or pot or any other drug or medication ever solve a single problem we might have? Does smoking pot change the people around us who aren't behaving in the way we would like them to? Does a few drinks help us overcome our personal problems (weight problems, relationship problems) or grant us the job opportunities we'd like to have? Does getting medicated ever change our lives for the better, really? Of course not. It changes our perception of things, but using substances does not change a single thing about our lives for the better. Things just seem better. It is an illusion, even when using substances in moderation.

In the 1960's my generation (Baby Boomers) decided to "turn on, tune in, and drop out," which translated for the majority to get stoned and rebel against society. The problem with that philosophy, retrospectively speaking, is that we still have a generation who is self-reliant, stoned, drunk, who never grew up emotionally, who have raised children who witnessed drug/alcohol use/abuse as coping tools for living. Now our childrens' generation, more addicted and drug/alcohol dependent than the Baby Boomers, are raising their own children in oftentimes abusive and addicted households. The problem with self-reliance is that it doesn't work. When Humans choose to operate out of self-reliance, making decisions, choosing relationships, raising children, reliant on their own limited wisdom and power and intellect, the result (see Baby Boomers) is a generation of drug/alcohol dependent, emotionally immature people who make selfish, foolish and brutal decisions (killing 4,000 babies every day; oddly honoring sexual dysfunction; re-electing criminal politicians again and again; abandoning their children to 'start new lives'; ignoring personal responsibility; etc.).

This is America today, to a great degree. Upside down. Right is wrong and bad is good. Jesus is bad and the Devil is fun. Selfishness is acceptable and self-sacrifice is rare. Keeping commitments (marriage) is stupid, and lying and being unfaithful is normal. Being self-reliant is the rule, and being God-reliant is the exception. Killing babies before they're born is normal, and accepting the fact that your sexual behavior has accidentally blessed you with a child is almost unheard of.

In order to turn this country around, and in order to turn our personal lives around, we need to take a look on the inside, all of us. Choices are critical at this time in our nation's history. We either collectively return to principled living, or we finish letting evil have its way with all of us. We can choose to have faith in our Creator and become people who pray, who seek His righteousness, or we can just let the government finish taking away the rest of our liberties and freedom, fall into our own filth and let the next generation suffer for our selfishness as we continue to stumble down the path of foolishness.

Faith and trusting God are choices. We can either make those choices, or not. So far, it appears that many are not. I pray that changes today, and that this change starts with you.

Next up: Conversation, confession, honesty (there's that word again)...

("The Miracle" is an ongoing series of articles by Don Cobb regarding the process through which an individual and/or a group of individuals or nation get right-side up. Addiction, sexual, life, or relationship issues regardless how deep or serious are all resolved through this miraculous transformation.)

© Don Cobb


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Don Cobb

Don Cobb, RAS is an addiction recovery professional and serves as Executive Director for North Bay Recovery Services in Sonoma County, CA. Don recently published a book entitled 12 Steps: NOT For Dummies... (more)


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