Breathing Under Water Week 5
By Donna Gulley

 Our Online Lenten Devotion uses Richard Rohr’s book, Breathing Under Water and Pastor Melissa Earley’s sermon series on the book.  Rohr connects the Gospel and the Twelve Step Program.  Addiction can be a helpful metaphor for sin as it helps us know how God can heal us in the depth of our soul. Each week, we will add a few discussion questions and our own reflection. Please join the discussion by commenting in the comments box.


 Step 10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
 Romans 8:26 – “The Spirit will help you in your weakness.”

Richard Rohr differentiates this step from the moral inventory of Step Four. To take a “personal inventory,” he suggests that we “just watch [ourselves] objectively, calmly, and compassionately.”…”From this most positive and dignified position you can let go of, and even easily ‘admit your wrongs.’”…”God forever sees and loves Christ in you.”…”Don’t judge, just look…with the very eyes of God.”


How is it possible of just watch with no judgment?
Wow! I think this is a very tall order. One technique that works for me is to replay an incident as if it is a movie, reminding myself of God’s never ending love and acceptance. I don’t know how anyone could get to Step Ten without help and guidance. Steps One through Nine are designed to prepare us for Step Ten. Also, I was fortunate as a youth to have a church that grounded me. In confirmation class, we were told that our purpose is to be in awe of God and enjoy him forever. Sin, I learned, is when I am disconnected from my relationship with God. My counseling education and experience, working with psychics and therapists, learning and teaching multiple methods of meditation, attending 12 step meetings for Adult Children of Alcoholics and Co-Dependency, continuing my religious and spiritual journey, reading and studying all kinds of self-help literature all have further given me tools to [sometimes] be able to just watch with no judgment. When I struggle, I know it is time to review the earlier steps and reconnect with what I have learned from the other venues that I listed and look for further understanding.


Step 11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood [God] praying only for knowledge of [God’s] will for us and the power to carry that out.
Psalm 46:10 – “Be still and know that I am God.”
Richard Rohr states, “It is work to learn how to pray, largely the work of emptying the mind and filling the heart. That is all of prayer in one concise and truthful phrase! …”In short, prayer is not about changing God , but being willing to let God change us, or as Step 11 says, ‘praying only for the knowledge of His will.’”…The Twelve Step Program was quite ahead of its time in recognizing that we need forms of prayer and meditation that would lead us to “conscious contact with God.”

What prayers and meditation help you the most in improving your conscious contact with God?
First of all, I want to acknowledge the opportunities at our church for praying, learning how to pray, and getting us ready to pray. This past Sunday, Christine’s labyrinth exercise is one wonderful example. Melissa’s variety of silent, guided, and out-loud, prayers thoughtfully lead us to engaging our conscious contact with God. Paige’s meditation class provides varieties of meditation for participants to explore.
I began meditating over thirty years ago and often find a true blur between prayer and meditation. “Be still and know that I am God,” is often the operative idea. Guided meditations lead me to hear God and be in conscious contact with Him, particularly when I have a question or concern to bring to Him. Sitting with my palms face up in prayer allows God to enter into every fiber of my being. And, silly as this might sound, I truly believe I drive convertibles so that there is nothing between God and me when the top is down!





Sunday, April 9  10:00 am
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Categories: Lent Devotional