Wednesday, December 27, 2006

A flashlight, not a spotlight

I talked to a good friend of mine this morning. I credit my life to her because before I had the transplant and I was in the hospital, toxic and with failing kidneys, she was my patient advocate. The doctor had pretty much given up on me and had told my brother that I wouldn't live through the night.

She knew me well and she knew my fighting spirit. (Those of us who survive to get to the rooms are all fighters, I believe!) She confronted the doctor and insisted he re-examine me and the situation and fought for me. That I am alive today is a credit to her love, her belief in me and to the grace of God, as I've often said in this blog.

Today she and I talked about God's will. She used a beautiful analogy that seemed to fit my life because it has changed so radically.

She said that walking in God's will is like walking a dark path with a flashlight. If you use the flashlight beam effectively, which is right in front of you, your path will be illuminated and you won't stumble. But if you shine the beam too far forward, you won't be able to see right in front of you and you'll stumble and even fall.

There's another thing, I told her, based on my experience. I use flashlights with an adjustable beam. Sometimes God's beam in my life is wide but many times, it's very, very narrow and only illuminates a small area of my life, usually one I'm struggling with.

How can I widen the beam? I wondered after we continued to chat. I think God's will widens only if I keep seeking His will for me, sometimes very specifically.

There's the old Program adage: "When you don't know what to do, don't do anything!" It has served me well over the years. It's simple but effective, because if I'm not sure I'm walking in God's will, then the chances are high that I'll do something out of self-will that feels right but ends up a disaster.

God's light is often a flashlight, not a spotlight. Today I accept that God's beam may not be wide, but it is always very strong if I keep it focused on today.


Woof said...

Nice share and an excellent analogy. Thanks. It helped me for sure.

Meg Moran said...

thanks for helping me stay sane today. Apparently God's will for me today is 10 relatives from Michigan at our home for another week. I'm grateful we have a home and the where-with-all to do this, but -geez-louise, this little break with you and Scout is sure a guilty pleasure. later baby, back to the kitchen for me.

SCoUt said...

A simply fabulous piece of writing. You are amazing. Thanks for helping me stay clean today.

TK said...

Hey, I'm really enjoying the blog. I've got a recovery blog as well and thought you'd be interested in my new posting about staying sober at New Year's:


An Irish Friend of Bill said...

hey thank you for sharing that. I really appreciate it. I love the flashlight story!!
I don't know about you, but I really 'feed off' stuff like that. I've never really identified with the people that say they need to hear 'blood and guts' stories, or the lastest update of personal sufference, to stay sober or to stay motivated. I get my help from stuff like this. It's my own personal taste I know. Each to their own, but I rely on these guiding principles to steer my focus. anyway, id better be off, but thanks! It all helps!