Thy Will Be Done

26 Mar

All throughout Lent, we have been covering the Lord’s Prayer, one line at a time.  When I heard that this week was to be “Thy will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven”, I immediately volunteered for this sermon.  


It’s hard for me to discuss my spiritual journey without talking about Alcoholics Anonymous.  That program has been as important to me in finding God as Cathedral in the Night has.


And I found AA first.  


In that 12 step program, the third step is “Made the decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, as we understood him.”


It took me eight years to get through that step.  


The first problem is that I couldn’t find a sponsor who I would trust to take guidance from.  I though I could do things my way.


Once I did finally concede that my way wasn’t working, I started working the steps with my sponsor, but I couldn’t get through step three.  Finally, my sponsor asked point blank, why am I unable to turn over my will, and the answer was simple.  I didn’t trust God to do what I wanted him to do.  


Indeed, that was a major problem holding me back in life.  I didn’t trust to ask for help from God or anyone else, because I needed to control the outcome.  


My sponsor gave me a simple prayer, one that would become my go-to.  It’s a prayer mentioned often in AA literature.  And it really is simple.  “Thy will, not mine, be done.”  


Sound familiar?  This simple prayer, which I now simply recite as “Thy will be done”, has amazingly transformed me.  I had a lot of anger, worry and self-doubt, all stemming from my lack of acceptance that I can control my actions but I cannot control the outcome.  By embracing “Thy will be done”, I have embraced acceptance that whether I worry or not the same outcome will come to be.  So why waste time worrying?  And why waste time being angry over things beyond my control.  They will still be beyond my control regardless of my mood.  If I focus on the things I can control and let go what I can’t, I don’t need to hold on to that anger.  


As for self-doubt, that brings me to the other part of this simple line.


It’s not just about letting things go.  It’s also about aligning my will with God’s will.  Of following the path God wants me to follow.  


On Thursday we discussed this at our bible discussion, and someone raised a great question, which was “How do you know what is God’s will and what is your own?”

The short answer is, I don’t know.


But I feel.  And what I feel is that God is love, kindness, generosity and compassion.  


And so I try to live my life following that.  


It’s not always easy and sometimes I falter from God’s path.  Sometimes my inner child emerges and I want to be selfish.  


But when I’m selfish, I don’t feel good after.  But when I return to the path of love, kindness, generosity and compassion, I do feel better.


And that’s brings me to self-doubt.  


I often don’t know that I’m doing the right thing.  But I want to.  


I’ve found prayer and meditation to be one helpful tool for this.  And I also have found people who are now in my life who clearly live a spiritual life, a life I desire, and I use them to consult when I have doubts about my own actions.  


I started by explaining I was excited about this sermon.  I was excited last week.  I didn’t want to be here today.


I’ve had a tough week.  It’s one of those weeks where almost all my encounters with people seem to be confrontational.  I feel like I’ve been attacked from all sides.


I really didn’t want to be here today.  I wanted to withdraw and isolate.  I’m not particularly fond of being around people right now.  


And last night, I couldn’t imagine how I could come here today preaching when I’m feeling so down.


But I prayed on it and I got my answer.  My sermons are usually about just that.  Dealing with adversity and asking for God’s help to do his will while working through the pain.


Love, kindness, generosity and compassion is meant for all God’s children.  And that means me too.  


And I do feel that God’s will for me is not to hide and avoid my commitments.  I feel that God wants me to show up and keep moving forward.  


And I’m glad I decided to follow those feelings.  I could be home right now, stewing in misery.  That’s my will.  But following through today isn’t my will.  It’s the will of a higher power.  I feel it, and it feels good to be here.
And I should add, at least one person was helped by this sermon and that person was me.  I was getting ready to walk away from God’s path, because of all that I’ve had to deal with this past week.  Working through this sermon reminded me that when I walk off God’s path, I get lost, and wander into places I don’t want to be.  So I’m thankful for the opportunity to write today’s sermon.  Even if no one else heard a message, I did.

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