Three Taverns Church

Making Course Corrections


“For the wise have always known that no one can make much of his life until self-searching becomes a regular habit, until he is able to admit and accept what he finds, and until he patiently and persistently tries to correct what is wrong.”
Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, Step 10

This quote reminds me of an analogy Zig Ziglar uses in his motivational talks. If a plane takes off from Seattle, flying to Dallas, it will only be a matter of moments before the wind, the rotation of the earth, and other factors pull the plane off course. In my old addictive ways of thinking, if I was the pilot of this plane I wouldn’t have noticed I was off-course and would have been unpleasantly surprised when I landed in Phoenix rather than Dallas. Or I might have turned the plane around, landed in Seattle, and try all over again. This is another form of denial, as well as perfectionism: I assume if I try hard enough and often enough, eventually I’ll be able to fly from Seattle to Dallas without any course corrections. Rather than use these two absurd (but tragically common) ways of thinking, my recovery program is teaching me to open my eyes and see when I’m off course. The program is also giving me the courage to make daily ‘course corrections’ rather than turn back and start over, again and again. The only way I’ll ever reach my destination is to trudge the road of happy destiny, and that means making mistakes, learning from them, and moving on.

As I reflect on the past week I see quite clearly that my pride was a major issue. I was prideful about my work, my sobriety, my appearance, and my performance as a husband and father. Thanking God for these blessings and for making my success possible came rarely, if at all. I can correct this wrong by thanking God now (done!) and by remembering in the future that God is in charge. If there are blessings in my life God is responsible for them, and I should thank Him daily rather than assume I am responsible.

What course corrections can you make today?

4 thoughts on “Making Course Corrections

  1. Thank you. It is always a pleasure to hear from the blessed person, of how God has blessed him/her. His/her delight in giving God the recognition and the Glory for the blessing(s) is a pleasure to the listener!

  2. God being the primary and most important Listener!!

  3. RM, I’m looking at my journey through sobriety (and life in general) through the same lens. Where I used to seek absolute perfection in each and get all frustrated when I would fail (and basically throw in the towel/go on a binge of acting out), now I acknowledge that I am only human and will fail at times. But I will not let my failures define who I am as a person. I find my identity in Christ, so I seek to walk, act, and speak like He did. And when I mess up, I want to admit it, seek to make amends to those I hurt, and continue my journey.

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