Addiction, NA, Narcotics Anonymous, Recovery, Spiritual Principles, Twelve Steps

Trust at 30,000 Feet

In my line of work, I am regularly in manufacturing facilities that serve the aerospace industry. Security is often tight at such places. A record is kept of everyone’s coming and going. Citizenship is often checked, along with identification. All to ensure that the parts being made will not be compromised.

Then there are the parts themselves. It is common to see a single part machines out of a large block of aluminum or even titanium. Everything is certified. Everything documented. Literally from cradle to grave, the pieces that make in a commercial airliner are catalogued and tracked. Nothing is left to chance.

Once completed, parts are inspected in a controlled environment. Quality is king in the world of aerospace manufacturing. Nothing is left to chance. Errors are not acceptable. If each person in the process does not do their job with exacting precision, a part that cost thousands to make will end up in the scrap heap.

As I’ve become more familiar with the quality standards of the aerospace industry, flying has become something I think less and less about. When I board a plane, I look around and think of all the parts that fit together perfectly, making the aircraft safe and dependable. When turbulence makes an airliner shimmer or shake, I rest assured, knowing it was designed to take much more than Mother Nature can dole out.

Yes, I trust the aircraft that carries me to wherever my job or a vacation may take me. I trust each of the parts that goes into the aircraft. I trust the people who assembled those parts. I trust it because I’ve grown familiar with it. My personal experience has built that trust, and continues to strengthen it over time.

The longer I work in this industry, the more experience I have with the people and processes in it, the greater my trust becomes. The easier it is to trust my life to the thousands of workers, and the parts they made, that will keep me safe while flying from point A to point B.

One of the first things I was asked to do in recovery was to identify a Higher Power who could be trusted with my life. I refer to my Higher Power as God.

To say that my relationship with God was strained when I first entered the rooms of Narcotics Anonymous would be an understatement. I felt that I had been let down by Him time and again. On top of that, I knew that my actions while in active addiction had driven a wedge between us. How on earth could we trust each other again after all we had been through?

Then there were “God’s people.” You know the ones, all those folks I had known in church. Literally dozens of folks who had once been called “brothers and sisters” who had turned their backs on me when my addiction became public.

Yes, a couple of them reached out, and to them I will be eternally grateful. Most though, went running. I truly felt abandoned by God and His people. My life hit turbulence, and all but a handful of parts failed. I was in free fall from what felt like 30,000 feet.

Then came the second step. The one where faith gets a second chance. The step where faith began to appear once again in my life. Step one is the step where I admitted that my life was out of control, and that I couldn’t do anything about it on my own. Step two required me to believe that God could do something to stop the free fall I was in. Faith and hope were back.

Then came step three. So far in my recovery, I had come to accept the “I can’t” of my situation. I’d also accepted the “God can.” Step three is where I declared “I’ll let Him.” Trust was born in those simple words.

The challenge for me was never a matter of trusting in God’s ability to guide me in my recovery. The challenge was believing that He would be willing to. Thoughts such as “If I were God I wouldn’t forgive me” were regularly in my mind.

The good news is that I am not God! He did for me what I wouldn’t and couldn’t do for myself. He continues to do so today, and I trust Him to continue doing so tomorrow.

Today, when turbulence come into my life, I know there is no reason to panic. There is no reason to fear. I have trusted God in my darkest of hours, and He has always come through. The more familiar He is to me, the stronger my trust in Him grows.

Just as my familiarity with aerospace manufacturing has made flight a fear-free adventure, getting to know God again allows my life in recovery to be a great adventure.

Have a remarkable day!

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