Imagine with me if you will that we are back in high school. Now imagine that you are on the football team or the volleyball team, or maybe you are in the band or in FFA, or maybe you are on the debate team or in the choir. Now imagine the long hard months of preparation that you would put into any of these activities in order to play the game or perform. A lot of time sacrificed and in some case some sweat and tears could happen, but a lot of hard work and preparation have gone into getting yourself ready for that upcoming game or performance.
Now imagine with me that the day arrives when you are to walk onto that stage, court, field and you say to yourcoach, “You know, I worked hard to get to this place, I think I will just stop here.” Can you imagine the look on your coach’s face? We worked so hard to be ready to play or perform and now at that moment we stop! In addition, our reason for stopping is just as bizarre because of all the hard work we did to get here! I can imagine the coach just looking in disbelief with all that prep work and time sacrificed and now at the pay off, we just stop and say, “I’m done.” It would be like a member of a football team making it to the Super Bowl or a soccer player making it to the World Cup or an athlete making to the Olympics and then deciding not to play. We would all say that that person is just crazy - all that hard work and pain to get to the Super Bowl and now they decide to stop and not go any further They must be out of their mind!” In fact, this seems so far-fetched that it is hard to imagine that someone would do something like that, isn’t it? Is it really that far-fetched?
Okay, let me changed the scenario on you a bit. Now imagine that you or I are in a Step Study, we have worked hard through Principles 1, 2, 3 & 4 and through the corresponding Steps 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5. A lot of time and hard work have gone into coming out of denial, stepping out of the insanity, embracing the hope that our Higher Power Jesus does desire and will work in our lives, turning our lives and wills over to Him, working through the inventory and then confessing it to ourselves, to God and to someone we trust. Tears were cried, some sleepless nights were spent, pain was encountered and faced, fears dealt with and a lot of time in prayer spent getting us to this point. And now we say, “I am done. You know I put a lot of hard work to get here, so I think I will just stop.”
Now is not the time to stop. All the hard work I did in Principles 1-4 and Steps 1-5, was preparation work for the healing, growth and freedom Jesus desires to see in me. The reality is I am just now ready to move forward in my recovery when I am at this point. There is no doubt it took a lot of hard work to get to this point and that is a point of celebration and giving God praise and glory for what has happened, but I am not done. Yet the truth is that hard work was just the preparation needed so I could step onto that field. Almost every athlete or performer will tell you that the preparation work is always hard, often times harder than the game or performance itself. Nevertheless, they will also tell you that without that preparation work, they would in no way be in shape or ready for the game or performance. Likewise, Principles 1-4 are the hard work needed to be completed to get me in shape or ready. So now is not the time to stop.
The struggle is that, because it took so much hard work, my natural tendency is to want to stop. I have to remind myself that making it to Principle 4 and Step 5 is not the goal. The goal is recovery, healing, growth and freedom. I must remember that the rest of the Principles and Steps need to be worked and – yes - it will be hard work as I move through them as well, perhaps not the same, but hard work nonetheless. No, now is not the time to stop, now is the time to get READY, now is the time to press onto VICTORY, now is the time for me to take the field, now is the time for me to play in my Super Bowl.