I Blamed God

When ‘bad’ things happen to us we are often confused as to why this bad thing is happening. We spend hours trying to figure out the answer, and most of the time, the answer never comes. Most try to find someone or something to blame and when we fail at this attempt, we blame God. He, at times, seems to be the only reasonable explanation. And if you do think God is involved in these terrible situations you find yourself in, well you might be closer to the truth than you realize.

But when it comes to life challenges, this is not so easily diagnosed.

Let’s dig into this is in a much more meaningful way. This will require some concentration and attention on our part. If we suffered from some physical ailment, we would rightly conclude that we have a disease or some type of virus and are in need of some medicine. This is simple enough. We don’t get confused about what is the disease and what is the medicine. But when it comes to life challenges, this is not so easily diagnosed.

Now let us look at this from the right angle.

We confuse what is the medicine and what is the illness. Let us take for example an alcoholic whose life is deteriorating to the point that he received a DUI and was placed in jail for a lengthy stay. As he sits there trying to figure things out, he concludes that more than anything else, he needs to get out of jail. To him, being in jail is the disease and the medicine is to get out. Now let us look at this from the right angle. In truth, his disease is his inability to stop drinking. Alcoholism. That’s the real problem. Realizing this, one might say, “you’re right Bill, so the medicine would be treatment or a program of recovery.”

Not so fast. We confuse what is the medicine and what is the illness.

You’re only half right.

Sure he needs a program, but in order for any program to work, he must first want to change and have a willingness and desire to get sober. This step must come first.

What would be the correct medicine for his unwillingness to change?

Yes sir, that is the medicine.

Pain. Pain is the best medicine for any alcoholic or addict that lacks the ‘want to’ to get clean and sober. Pain can melt away even the greatest unwillingness and produce the strongest desire for sobriety. Yes sir, that is the medicine. As a matter of fact, I cannot recall any alcoholic or addict that I have treated that wasn’t motivated by some type of pain. So to our friend in jail, we must help him to understand that the pain of jail is in fact, part of the medicine that will produce a cure if they allow it and God is willing.

Using the information from above, we now can look within and try to make sense of the “senseless suffering” that occurs in our lives. Spiritually speaking, let’s try to determine what is the disease and what is the medicine that cures.

An example from my own life: I was offered a scholarship to Washburn University after completing 2 years of college at a Junior College. I went to Topeka to secure a job and an apartment so I could accept the scholarship. I went all over that town trying to find a job and was turned down at every single interview. I even applied at a mental hospital to empty bedpans and was rejected!

I thought this was senseless suffering. So, I headed home with a very bruised ego. Coupled with disappointment and anger, I screamed at God. Why did this happen and for what reason? I was poor, I needed this scholarship, and I couldn’t pay my way through another two years of schooling.

Little did I know, at the time I was being turned down for all those jobs in Topeka, a much more remarkable job was waiting for me.

About two weeks after this heartbreaking ordeal, I received an offer from a hospital to begin an alcohol and drug treatment center in their facility. I couldn’t believe it! My entry into this field was to start a treatment center. I went on to do that, and it became a successful endeavor that still brings me pleasure when I think about it.

I needed every bit of skill and knowledge I could get about how to start and operate a treatment center.

No, the disease was my self-will and lack of faith.

What I didn’t know then was that another amazing opportunity was in my future. I would eventually take this skill and knowledge elsewhere to open up a treatment center in Wichita called Atishwin. This treatment center has lasted thirty-five years and has helped thousands of alcoholics and drug addicts. I thought the illness was not being able to accept the scholarship. I thought the medicine was to secure employment, thus allowing me to continue going to school. No, the disease was my self-will and lack of faith. This was evident by my unwillingness to accept the situation as being exactly the way it was supposed to be at that time.

What is the cure for this type of self-centered willfulness? Being turned down for every job applied for. There have been many of these types of experiences throughout my life and I am just now becoming willing to be grateful for them.

God loves those who He corrects

Let us try to realize that sometimes when what we consider to be bad things that happen to us are no more than a loving father trying to help us grow up. Just as you teach a child to share their toys by taking all the toys away until they learn to share. A child doesn’t see this correction as medicine for the disease of selfishness, but as you being a mean parent. As the child matures into an adult, they become thankful for all the pain (medicine) that you gave them. We too have a loving father who is preparing us for eternity. For this to become a reality, we must grow into the likeness of our father. God loves those who He corrects. Let us accept these corrections and try to discover the meaning behind the pain. And once discovered, don’t forget to thank Him.


Written by Bill on February 8, 2016 in Blog

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  • “Sometimes we think fear ought to be classed with stealing. It seems to cause more trouble.” We reviewed our fears thoroughly. We put them on paper, even though we had no resentment in connection with them. We asked ourselves why we had them. Wasn’t it because self-reliance failed us? Self-reliance was good as far as it went, but it didn’t go far enough. Some of us once had great self-confidence, but it didn’t fully solve the fear problem, or any other. When it made us cocky, it was worse.

Perhaps there is a better way—we think so. For we are now on a different basis; the basis of trusting and relying upon God. We trust infinite God rather than our finite selves. We are in the world to play the role He assigns. Just to the extent that we do as we think He would have us, and humbly rely on Him, does He enable us to match calamity with serenity. (AA BB How It Works)

60 Seconds of Recovery The Recovery Effect Podcast with Bill Vineyard
  • “Therefore our problem now becomes just how and by what specific means shall we be able to let Him in? Step Three represents our first attempt to do this. In fact, the effectiveness of the whole A.A. program will rest upon how well and earnestly we have tried to come to “a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.” To every worldly and practical-minded beginner, this Step looks hard, even impossible. No matter how much one wishes to try, exactly how can he turn his own will and his own life over to the care of whatever God he thinks there is? Fortunately, we who have tried it, and with equal misgivings, can testify that anyone, anyone at all, can begin to do it. We can further add that a beginning, even the smallest, is all that is needed. Once we have placed the key of willingness in the lock and have the door ever so slightly open, we find that we can always open it some more. Though self-will may slam it shut again, as it frequently does, it will always respond the moment we again pick up the key of willingness.  Twelve and Twelve - Step Three.  60 Seconds of Recovery - By Bill Vineyard
  • Just as firmly bound by obligation are the members of Alcoholics Anonymous, who have demonstrated that they can help problem drinkers as others seldom can. The unique ability of each A.A. to identify himself with, and bring recovery to, the newcomer in no way depends upon his learning, eloquence, or on any special individual skills. The only thing that matters is that he is an alcoholic who has found a key to sobriety. These legacies of suffering and of recovery are easily passed among alcoholics, one to the other. This is our gift from God, and its bestowal upon others like us is the one aim that today animated A.A.’s all around the globe.
There is another reason for this singleness of purpose. It is the great paradox of A.A. that we know we can seldom keep the precious gift of sobriety unless we give it away. If a group of doctors possessed a cancer cure, they might be conscience-stricken if they failed their mission through self-seeking. Yet such a failure wouldn’t jeopardize their personal survival. For us, if we neglect those who are still sick, there is unremitting danger to our own lives and sanity. Under these compulsions of self-preservation, duty, and love, it is not strange that our Society has concluded that it has but one high mission - to carry the A.A. message to those who don’t know there’s a way out.
  • So we of A.A. do obey spiritual principles, first because we must, and ultimately because we love the kind of life such obedience brings.  Great suffering and great love are A.A.’s disciplinarians; we need no others.” 60 Seconds of Recovery
  • Three Choices

The immediate object of our quest is sobriety—freedom from alcohol and from all its baleful consequences. Without this freedom, we have nothing at all.

Paradoxically, though, we can achieve no liberation from the alcohol obsession until we become willing to deal with those character defects which have landed us in that helpless condition. In this freedom quest, we are always given three choices.

A rebellious refusal to work upon our glaring defects can be an almost certain ticket to destruction. Or, perhaps for a time, we can stay sober with a minimum of self-improvement and settle ourselves into a comfortable but often dangerous mediocrity. Or, finally, we can continuously try hard for those sterling qualities that can add up to fineness of spirit and action—true and lasting freedom under God.

The Recovery Effect Podcast – Episode 17: 
The Road Most Trudged

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