My favorite food group has been “cake” for as long as I can remember (Yes….I believe cake is a food group unto its own!!). Truly. I have always been, and remain today, an equal-opportunity cake-eater; I do not discriminate….yellow, chocolate, red-velvet, angel-food, white, Boston-crème, King, Carrot, Black-Forest, Bundt, Marble, Pineapple Upside Down, Cup……I could go on forever.
Interestingly, a new horizon beckons and I am forced to make a choice between the varieties of Old Faithful and the new kid on the block…..The White Peach. I’ve emphatically enjoyed the perfectly ripened white peach for several years now and I must say….I am jumping ship on my gluten and sugar-laden friends of yester-year. (Gasp!!) I’m officially changing my favorite food to: White Peaches.
There’s just one problem…..a love-affair with the perfectly ripened white peach necessitates a bit of finesse and patience that simply was not required of my former “go-to” treat. I find myself carefully selecting would-be perfect peaches at the local market….evaluating the ratio of maroon to peach (no pun intended!!) skin coloring (though I have absolutely no idea what ratio would dictate one being better over any other), relative degree of ripeness and tenderness, and of course….overall shape and size (translate: The Big Payoff!). Scampering home, I can scarcely wait for the exact moment of ripeness.
After a few years of falling completely in love with these sumptuous little treats, I’ve gotten to be fairly good at estimating the ”TTR”…Time To Ripeness. I place my peaches in a small paper bag and gingerly set them near the back of the counter where ripening will hasten without disruption. And I wait. And check on them. And wait. And check. And wait….
I believe there is an exact hour where those little buggers are outrageously perfect; bursting with flavor and juice. Nothing says, “Good Livin” in the summer like peach juice rolling down your chin!! Sometimes, I’m lucky enough to purchase the peaches within a day or so of their perfection…other times, it may be up to a week. And sometimes…I guess completely wrong and either over-ripen them or end up waiting far longer than I had imagined or desired to enjoy their awesomeness. Without exception, each time I bite into the Perfect Peach, every grueling moment of waiting is vindicated. Pure delight.
I found myself thinking about Recovery in the same way the other day. I was talking with a friend and jumped the gun a bit as he was explaining something to me…it would be fair to say I reacted immediately to that which I did not like. Of course, he knew…there was a bit more to the story that he presumed (and rightfully so…) I would like….positing, “Wait for it…wait for it…” When he finally delivered the punch-line….indeed I did like!! Part of my “like” ended up being diminished, however, because I clouded the moment with recovery from my impatience and “not like” just a few moments prior. Seems I do that in my Recovery at times as well….
Recovery has a life of its own. As we work our Steps, our Recovery takes on a shape and tempo of its own design. On every occasion that I have attempted to force it into the box of my own desire, I am met with frustration and often set-back in my overall Program progress. I admit…it’s a defect of character rearing its ugly head….control. Boo!! I want my Recovery to look and feel a certain way….to flow a certain way…and personally reach some type of self-imposed milestone on my timeline, rather than trusting my God to personally escort me along the road He brought me to in the first place.
Recovery requires time.
Recovery requires gentleness.
Recovery requires flexibility.
Recovery requires me to relax.
Recovery requires me to suspend judgment of myself and others….and of the process.
Recovery requires a blank sheet of paper with a detailed course yet uncharted and a future yet unseen.
Recovery, like my perfect peaches, must be allowed to ripen at its own pace, but will inevitably deliver its promise of freedom and peace.
Simply said….Recovery requires trust.
Dr. Charles L Whitfield wrote of Recovery….
Recovery takes patience and persistence. We are naturally impatient to reach the end without delay and skip the hard work of the program. An important part of successful recovery is learning to accurately name the components of our inner life as they come up for us; including our various feelings, and learning to tolerate emotional pain without trying to medicate it away.” (Even with cake or perfect peaches!!)
Another milestone of Recovery patiently waits for each of us. We must hand over the reins to a God who loves us, who only has it in His character to bring healing and not harm….and we must trust…..both Him and The Process.