same old holeImage courtesy of nongpimmy/

“The guidance we need for handling any difficulty, great or small, can only come into focus when w e remove the barriers to it, and the greatest barrier is our frantic effort to personally solve the problem.”

(Casey, K, 1991. Each Day A New Beginning: Daily Meditations for Women,  2nd ed., Page for June 25, Center City, Minnesota: Hazelden)

Last night I participated in a book study discussion of how important it is to realize that AA’s program of recovery does not suggest we remove our character defects ourselves; instead it asks us to be willing to let the God of our choosing remove them.  Today I want to use the same philosophy only with a slightly different focus. Sure, my character defects (problematic personality traits) cause almost all of my problems—–things like needing to control things, needing to fix things, being a people pleaser and needing other people’s approval, etc.  But today, I want to focus on just ordinary, everyday run-of-the-mill problems. The above quote is what got me started thinking this way, but so were the comments made by people at last night’s meeting.

After all these years in recovery, I still expect myself to solve my own problems. And to do it perfectly so everyone is happy and everyone still loves me. I’ve managed to let go of most of the need to do it perfectly and making everyone happy all of the time. But, the belief that I have to do the solving myself is stubbornly persistent. I have learned to ask God for help, but I am usually asking God to help me to do  a better job of solving whatever problem is making my mind uncomfortable. What I heard last night, and what Casey’s quote is saying to me this morning has finally helped me realize surrendering something to God means  I have given it to Him to solve.

I don’t mean I’m going to start asking God to handle everything while I just sit passively by waiting for “a miracle” to occur. I do mean I am going to work at actually turning my problems over to God with the understanding that I will be helping Him do the solving and not Him helping me do the solving.

I’d written the introductory quote and about half of the first sentence of my commentary this morning when I got a call from a close friend. We talked about a problem we both would like to solve and fix. As much as we both would like to solve the problem, we can’t because we can’t change other people, persons, places, or things. We need to stop trying to solve it ourselves and turn it over to God. After we hung up, I could almost hear God saying, “See, this is what I was talking about. Let me handle it. I’m working on the solution in my own way and in my own time.” My friend and I will take a back seat, we will still “do the leg work” as we try to support God’s solution—but the outcome is, as it always has been, in God’s hands.

Please comment and share your thoughts about helping God solve things rather than trying to solve them by yourself. May God bless and keep you.