When I'm paying attention, I see I'm not really using my program to live life on life's terms, rather I see my program is using me. My program is a living, breathing thing. It reminds me, whispers to me, directs me.
When I'm tempted to insert myself into some drama, my programs says
"are you really sure you want to get involved? You already know how this
movie is going to end." When other people cry out to me for help by
acting like idiots, my program reminds me that I've never succeeded in
fixing anyone, not one, especially not my wife, although I've been
trying for many years. When I feel my temperature rising in
self-righteous anger over the latest national tragedy splashed across
the headlines, my program points out judging and condemning others is
self-incrimination and I might want to look at my side of the street
before I go pointing the finger of guilt at others. I ignore the voice
of my program much of the time and pay the inevitable price, but
sometimes when I hear the small, still voice, I'm able to change course.
Last Sunday night was one of those times.
little Chinese boy sat in front of me at the church Christmas play. He
fidgeted throughout the whole play, moving around, getting up and down,
blocking my view despite a parent and others telling him to keep his
seat. First I started judging him as a spoiled little brat, then I
judged his parents as totally irresponsible, finally I judged all
Chinese people everywhere for all their sins against civilized behavior.
I became increasingly upset. After about fifteen minutes, the next time
he got up, I reached over and gently but firmly pulled him back into
his seat. When he turned around to see the source of the unfamiliar hand
on his shoulder, he looked directly into my eyes and gave me a broad
smile. My program whispered, "My God, Jeff, he's just a child acting
like a child. Why don't you give the kid a break?" I smiled back and in
that instant he changed from a spoiled Chinese brat into a beautiful
child of God. I went on to enjoy the rest of the play.
My program is not a bunch of dead ideas and concepts, it is a living
breathing thing that seems to have a mind of its own. My job is to
nurture my program -- to keep the fire burning inside of me -- by doing
the things you told me in my first week: meetings, steps, service and
leaving the results up to God.