Failure / Success

successfailureEver since I was a child in Catholic schools prayer has been my strong rope to God. Even when I took a multi-year sabbatical from organized religion, I continued to pray on a regular basis. Upon leaving the marketplace twenty-five years ago for the ministry I ramped up my praying several notches, but along the way I made a startling discovery.  Often prayer is not enough.

In the late nineties it seemed that things were going great.  Each Sunday a chorus of folks shared how our services were hitting home with them, lives were being changed and people were finding Christ. Then one day, in the midst of what I thought were the best of times, my life took a turn that I never saw coming nor expected. The mailman left one of those old AOL disks. For the first time I viewed online porn. I was hooked instantly.

The guilt was overwhelming. I promised myself I would never do “that” again. But I did. Over a period of a couple of years it became a secret sin that took control of me. I felt like the biggest hypocrite on the planet. I prayed and begged God to help me. Nothing changed. Finally, I promised Him I would do anything it took. He told me I could not do it on my own and that I had to tell somebody.

Obviously, that was the very last thing I wanted to hear from God! However, after presenting my best rationalizations He finally convinced me that He was smarter than me.  I reached out to a friend and my wife. That was the day that I chose to do more than pray.

I saw a counselor who insisted that I get into a 12 step program. I got clean and have been since 2000. By the way if you struggle with pride I recommend going to your first 12 Step meeting.  It’s an instant cure! Why am I telling you this?  Because there are situations in which God requires us to do more than pray about things. Along with the prayer sometimes he requires us to do some of the heavy lifting too. For me I had to swallow my pride and seek help. At that point God delivered me.  I recommend this approach highly. Yesterday, I saw the strangest thing — a  shiny black Lexus with a pizza delivery sign on top. Often the only thing between success and failure is a willingness to do whatever it takes.

Something to Think About

Tags: , ,

Leave a Reply