By Wesley Hicks
We all seek wholeness and joy, but none of us can find it on our own. We need help but are often too full of pride to admit it. Because we are designed to seek these things, we will pursue them in one of two ways: According to God’s design or according to our own.
When we pursue wholeness and joy in relationship with God, we will find even the rough spots of life won’t derail us on the track laid out by His design. As we continue to see Him leading us toward more wholeness, we also see a natural curve happen as our Joy in Him is increased. The more joy we find in Him, the more geared we become toward wholeness and we begin a cycle of Joy-fed wholeness in relation to Him that overflows into our relationships with others.
When we pursue these apart from God we try many different paths and processes to accomplish both. Think about shoes for a minutes. Only one brand, style, size will fit perfectly and lead to an amazing feel and comfort (God’s Design). Imagine trying on 50 different brands ranging in sizes 5-8 and cramming your foot in there, or even try to wear Shaq’s shoes. No matter if they are the new Air Jordan’s or some Kenneth Cole’s if the shoe doesn’t fit properly, even if they look cool, it will always lead to sore feet, legs, backs. Basically the whole body will feel the pain of a bad shoe. We tend to walk this journey in shoes that don’t fit us properly (our design) and it hits every one of us in different ways. For some, it hits through dysfunctional relationships, or insecurities, or over-inflated egos. Some people can keep a smile on their face most days, but have no idea what real joy looks like. Heck, some have absolutely rocked the Jordan’s so well, that everyone pictures them as the American dream family, but when the mask is off, people just don’t really know us. When we try to go with our own design we can strive for joy, and wholeness, and we can experience them in temporary bursts, but it is not attainable in eternal and completely satisfying amounts which can lead to a place of despondency. When we choose to do life our way, by our design, we ultimately find ourselves further from wholeness and joy.
Christians are not immune to living and pursuing wholeness and joy in their own design either. In fact, we most likely lean that direction more easily because it is the one that feeds our independency the most. Which on a lot of levels, being Miss Independent would seem the best way to find freedom, but this perspective is actually counter-gospel and leads further into bondage.
I guess in a nutshell, how is recovery for everyone?
If someone wants to find overwhelming joy and experience a depth in their relationship with God and other people, then they must start with recovering what God originally designed man to be in relation with Him. He designed us to be in communion with Him and it always results in paradise-like joy. For us to experience it and dwell in it, we must rely on Him and recovery in the 12 steps is a very practical way for us to consciously do that and presently live within that design even in a jacked up world.
Wesley Hicks helps people find freedom from their hurts, habits, and hang-ups through life in Christ. You can follow him on Twitter @WesleyHicks15.