Second Catch

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Step 3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

“My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” Matthew 26:39

So I had the Catch all ready to go out about four hours ago, but I didn’t like it. It was boring. It had some great teaching in it, but nothing from our lives, which is what we’re supposed to be about here — “connecting life to faith” — and what Marti tells me is the best thing about my writing. So now I was faced with a dilemma: either the Catch is going to be late, and my plans for the day will have to be altered, or I send it out, bore you all to death, and go on with my business.

So I decided to do the next best thing — read it to my wife. I knew there was about a 2% chance of her liking it, and I was right. Only it was 0%. Still, I was tempted to send it out anyway. So we started talking about the whole idea of surrendering — turning over your life and your will to God — and agreed that we use these words a lot without really knowing what they mean. Words like “sacrifice,” “giving up,” and “leaving it all to the Lord.” Do we really know what these words mean, or even what they’re trying to describe? How can I put some skin and bones on these concepts that are so nebulous? We all act like we know what we’re talking about, but do we?

That’s when I suddenly realized I was sitting right on top of the story I was seeking. My will and a higher will were in conflict. It’s all about turning my will over to what I know God wants. I wanted to be lazy; I didn’t want to have to work harder. Start over? I didn’t get up at 4:30 this morning for nothing.

I have ways of doing things that are fraught with years of shortcuts. It’s because they are based on me and my limitations and shortcomings and covering up with my various excuses and coping mechanisms. Sounds like anybody’s addictions to me. To turn my life over to the Lord means to go His way and trust His Spirit for the power and the outcome.

And it means opening my life to another. To be vulnerable to someone who knows my weaknesses and can spot when I am coping with my limitations and not walking in His power, doing the right things for the right reasons. So thanks Marti.

Do you have your own story you can tell about refusing to let go of your control over things?

Are you glad for this “Second Catch?” What did you take from it?

What would you like to see addressed about the 12 Steps?

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7 Responses to Second Catch

  1. Mark D Seguin says:

    I’m glad you did Pastor John decide to listen to your better half, gorgeous Marti….

  2. Sandie says:

    My Mom used to say to me, “If you are going to do a job, do it right the first time; otherwise you will be doing it over til you do.” I used to tell my own kids, “Less than your best is unacceptable. If you do your best and fall short, there is no shame in that. The shame is in not putting forth your best.” I believe there is biblical truth there. For me, it carried over into our music ministry. We used to practice and pray over these songs until we were literally sick of doing the song(s) over and over, always fine-tuning. We had the same work ethic for every sing introduced.We were almost brutal in holding ourselves and each other accountable.The benefit in that was this – even if there was a mistake or glitch, it didn’t throw us off what we were there for – to minister – to really see the people in front of us. It came into play setting our sound too – we didn’t want anything unpleasant to distract from our message and the pure enjoyment of music done well. Because of the prophecy spoken over us and the talents we were given, God called us to a very high standard. When we tried to ‘just get by,’ it didn’t bode well. I remember the exact day and time God showed me He made no distinction between ‘secular’ music and ‘Christian’ music. I was performing an old Christmas standard as a Christmas gift for a dear elderly lady. Since it was ONLY a secular song, I didn’t give it the prayer and attention I gave to all my other music. Boy, did God lay His hand on me! On the way to practice, I totally forgot the words…AND the actual tune…Gone! Kaput! Erased like I never knew this song I had done for years! Boy, did I pray then…literally begging God’s forgiveness and restoration! If I hadn’t been driving, I would have been groveling on the ground! I have never made that mistake again. So John, I’m glad you re-thought your message and listened to Marti, instead of ‘getting by’ on your talent. It’s easier to listen to The Spirit in the first place; it saves a lot of ‘weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth!’ “To whom much is given, much is required.” God bless you both – your partnership in marriage and ministry are a priceless blessing!

  3. Gary says:

    Pray and meditate over Oswald Chambers’ daily devotional, “My Utmost for His Highest”. The result–an honest self-assessment about how you are doing with Step 3, and an acute recognition of your need for the Lord’s unbounded patience, grace and mercy.

  4. Jesus Aguilar says:

    We in AA keep it simple. We make this statement to the person that is going to take the step: – Look at what you have accomplished on your own till this point. Your will and your best thinking brought you to the rooms of AA. AA is not a glorified place to be. Don’t you think that a Power Greater than yourself (GOD) would do a better job? Look around including me. i have come to believe that a Power Greater than myself could restore me to sanity and it has, so now I am convinced that if I turn my will and my life over to his care, my life will be abundantly better. Give it a try, certainly cannot get worst, only better. Simple we go in our knees and recite the third step prayer. If you like me to post it I will with the help of God.

  5. TOM says:

    This step kinda made the hairs on my neck go up. It reminded me of the little tracks I’d find in public restrooms. There was a time I was one of the people leaving them. When I saw the step on the meeting room wall I thought Oh No not this again. It didn’t keep me sober before. I had relapsed into drinking after almost two years of sobriety through Christian fellowship, prayer meetings, Bible studies etc. It took me six years to get to AA. What I have learned is that the Third step is a decision to work the rest of the steps. They would give me direct instructions an d insight into what exactly I was turning over. I’m sober now quite awhile (31 years) . I am not calling people in the middle of one crisis or another. I have three or Four people I talk to on a regular basis. Most of the time I see whats wrong with my thinking the minute it comes out of my mouth. Love and Peace PS. The above mentioned relapse came as a result of getting away from that Christian Fellowship and trusting my dysfunctional thing.

  6. John A Fagliano says:

    It’s funny how things happen for a reason. Maybe the reason why what you wrote turned out boring was so that we could be given this Catch which ties in with step 3 perfectly. We can put ourselves down for our failings without realizing God only lets it happen to bring us to a place where we can have something better if we’re willing to let Him take us there.

  7. jwfisch says:

    Thank you for all your thoughtful comments!

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