I Needed a Sanctuary
I was hungry, tired, and running all over town looking for a way to hustle a buck. Truthfully, a measly dollar would calm the impending doom of not having a drink or drug as I was starting to shake and feel the effects of coming down. I didn’t belong on the streets but that is where my addiction had taken me more once again. I had left my Wife, and children and home to fuel a sense of escapism that was quickly beginning turning on me. I truly needed a safe place to hide I needed a sanctuary from all my decision making and a harsh reality I was facing.
It’s funny that when you decide to surrender and ask for true help it arrives. It may arrive in a package that is not desirable or attractive, but it arrives none the less. Someone that truly hits rock bottom is willing to do whatever it takes to change their lives. They are willing to take any suggestion or cross any distance to find the help they desperately need and want. I once met a man on the streets that had a true desire to get clean and end a life of homelessness. This man was dropped off at the local hospital for detox and given the instructions to call me when he was released. After a couple days I had honestly forgotten about him but around 10am that suggested phone call came. Given my current situation, I was unable to pick this man up until 5 hours later. I told him if he was still willing to do anything that he needed to wait. 5 hours later we arrived at the hospital expecting him to be long gone. As I walked into the ER waiting room this man was eagerly waiting with a smile on his face. There was a joy and desire to take any other suggestion we had for his immediate future. What I love about this man was his surrender and willingness to wait 5 hours given he could have walked out the door and within 10 minutes been with his same homeless community back to his old ways. He knew he needed a sanctuary and at that time the hospital waiting room was that sanctuary. He was ultimately transferred to a homeless ministry and put into a program that would take roughly a year to complete.
Now that I have several years sobriety under my belt, I find that I still need a sanctuary. A sanctuary that is built more around a set of principles than one with walls and a roof. I have been able to narrow these principles down to a solid three. Although each principle is vast and expansive, I believe all my behaviors related to recovery today fit within the following set:
- Stay Humble: When I hit rock bottom, I admitted that I knew nothing about living life and my best decision making put in the worst nightmare imaginable. I still today operate with a sense that I do not have all the answers and that I am one bad decision away from being back at ground zero.
- Take Suggestions: When I decided to start listening to others around me, I found that bad things stopped happening. I found trustworthy men that could speak honestly into my life and I took their suggestions. No matter how hard they seemed.
- Diligently Seek the Truth: Over the past several years I have not always made the right or best decisions, but I have committed to diligently seek the truth. I thank God that he has shown me when I may have been going down the wrong path by showing me the right one. I have decided to not settle on lies and work on constantly searching for the truth in life.
John 14:6 states “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” I have set this a fundamental truth in my life and found that it always steers me right toward a sanctuary.