Friday, December 19, 2008

Lead by Example

We lead by way of example.

At 21 when I gave up drugs and alcohol, I was setting an example to my older siblings. Go figure, the baby of the family had to lead them to the light. I have four brothers and a sister, who as you can imagine, all had drug and alcohol problems in one way, shape or form.

When I quit my nasty habits, I was revered as the different one. The miss priss of the family who wanted to change the world. Yes, I was laughed at and scoffed at. It didn’t gain me any respect in my family by quitting because it was saying to them, “Maybe you should quit too?” (I wasn't looking for respect either. I was only seeking God.)

I never ever pushed my beliefs on my family. I was bluntly honest and told them that God was leading me into a better direction for my life. Seeing me come out a changed person encouraged my one brother to join A.A., I was so proud of him. He never gave me credit for overcoming my obstacles without the aid and assistance of a support group, I had God and that was enough for me to get through those darkened days of withdrawal.

He believed that A.A. was the only way, and as the good sister that I am, I stood by and supported him on every triumph. He is sober now twenty years later. Then there was my sister and her husband. We were so close at one time and after I gave up the destructive habits, our friendship waned.

Years later, they too went to every A.A. group there was and found sobriety. Again, I was shunned because I didn’t do it the N.A. way, but I stood beside them too in all of their triumphs.

Slowly they all sought God. Was I the reason they all changed? I don’t know, but I do know that leading by example can cause others to want to follow so that they too can be a leader by example. I never wanted credit, I would have loved a pat on the back saying, "Good Job!" The Lord gave it to me in way of many blessings and that is certainly enough.

Out of my five elder siblings, only one is still an addict. He’s fifty-one years old and will still tell you that he doesn’t have a problem. Even after burning off one of his fingers in a drunken crack burning stupor, he continues to drink and medicate himself with Dr. prescribed hydrocodone. He watched his skin melt off, watched as the bone surfaced and realized his finger was gone. I thought for sure that would have made him see the light, but again, he says he doesn’t have a problem. Even my parents are alcohol free. (only because of medical problems, mind you.) God has a way of making you see the Light!

Leading by example doesn’t always cause people to follow. Sometimes they need the hand of God to reach down and touch their cheek and speak to them. That is what happened with me, I HAD MY EARS OPENED!

Be ready to listen because God does speak to you. So many people are hiding in the walls, the caves of denial that they can’t see any light shining in the one little opening.

Matt. 19: [24] And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

The road is hard, the road well traveled. Care not for your material possessions, just care and nurture your soul. It is by faith that you too will enter the kingdom of Heaven.

author's note:
The picture is from the Bigstock free photo

No comments: