Bryan Cisler serves as the Digital Media Specialist at The United Methodist Church of the Resurrection.
When I read today’s GPS, what sticks out to me is how powerful Jesus’ mountaintop experience was. A lot of people have their favorite ministries or serving events where they feel like they are closer to the Kingdom of God. For me, it’s when I go down to the Healing House on Friday nights. If you’re not familiar, Healing House is a group faith-based recovery homes located in the northeast section of Kansas City, and provides spiritual growth, emotional stability and direction to prepare men and women on their journey from addiction while seeking a purposeful life in our community.
It’s incredibly inspiring to hear some of the stories that the residents go through to try and become clean. I am not trying to over romanticize the process of getting over a drug addiction, and the people there have their ups and downs like everybody else. But it’s watching how everyone comes together to help bring each other out of their own personal wilderness that sometimes makes you feel like you watching the Gospels live out right in front of your eyes.
And the best part is, for the most part the process works. If a resident has managed to stay at Healing House for 3 months, they have a 73% chance of staying clean. The national average for a drug rehabilitation center in that time frame is 13%. From what I can tell, when people first join the house, they aren’t at that point strong Christians. Also from what I can tell, most of them don’t have mountain top experiences like the one listed in today’s GPS that gets them to believe. For them, it’s partly watching the older residents who are further along in their journey and seeing how they used their faith to get out of their own wilderness.
It was once told to me like this. Imagine that you are given a Betty Crocker Cake Mix. The box comes with directions on the side that any eight-year-old can read. For once, take a break and just follow the directions on the side of the box. It doesn’t matter if you believe a cake would result, or whether you understood the baking-chemistry of how a cake would result, but if you follow the directions and get help from more experienced bakers to keep from messing things up, there’s a better chance of a cake resulting then if you did it your own way.
For people at the Healing House, they are required to spend a certain part of the week serving others in addition to their jobs, it’s spending a lot of their nights in small groups, praying, reading the Bible and challenging each other to get better.There’s a very detailed path for them to grow deeper in their faith. Even if a resident wasn’t a strong Christian when they start out, they begin to see first hand how surrendering themselves to God can change their life. I guess my question is if you’re in your own wilderness, are you trying to figure things out by yourself and waiting for that mountain top experience to happen randomly? Or are you allowing others to help you, and putting yourself on a proven successful strategy that will get you on the right path?
Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.