Usually I like to have a very background role in our “Recovery Workshop”. I arrange for a space. I make the coffee. I set up tables and chairs, and at the end I undo all the above. In between I try and fade into the background as others, with personal experience, lead. I enjoy the fact that it often takes a few weeks before participants to even realize I am the ‘minister’. I really enjoy not being in the spot light and watching others use their tremendous gifts.
This week though I decided to step up and do the teaching. The topic was “Any life run on self-will can hardly be a success.” In the world of recovery, as in the rest of the world, this is where the rubber meets the road. First we take stock and see the mess that our self-directed life had become. We are currently in the season where unsuccessful hockey teams are firing their managers. If our life was a hockey team we would certainly have to admit it was time to do likewise. Even as we honestly view the wreckage of the self-directed life we hesitate to make a change. We tell ourselves the lie “It will be different this time.” But it never is different! In the ministry of Street Hope I often hear people resist this call to a change in management and I ask a familiar question “How is that working for you?”
Now I cannot turn management of my life over to the direction of someone else who is just as fallible as I am. I must look for better management. The scriptures advise us “Taste and see that the Lord is good. Happy are they who trust in Him.”
This week we were at the step of giving over the management of our lives to the care of God. It was such fun to discuss this with a group of keenly engaged participants. This is the kind of moment I live for! I love just this kind of opportunity, and so I stepped into the forefront last night and challenged the group to seriously and sincerely take this step. Each person will take some time this week to find a ‘sacred’ spot and pray a prayer submitting their lives to management of a loving God. They will share with at least one other person what they did and we will all gather next week to share our experiences. I look forward to those conversations.
This message of the management of God is not confined to the “recovery Workshop” but is central to the ministry of Street Hope. I meet individuals, all the time with terrible stories of abuse and bad decisions. I try to listen with real sympathy but our ministry is not “Street Sympathy” but Street Hope. We offer a chance for a different life; a life worth living, through the management, or lordship, of Jesus. To those who find this difficult I ask “How is that working for you?”
We start two new initiatives.
Friday nights we will be using the “Nua” program put out by Scripture Union as our “Word From Our Sponsor” This will mean showing a 5 minute video each Friday for the next 15 weeks to explore issues of faith and provoke discussion.
On Tuesday we begin our 5 week “Finding Your way Back to God” series, from 12:15 – 1 PM. We will be providing a soup lunch, showing a video based on the Parable of the Loving father, and hold a brief discussion.