Meditations: Life’s Punctuation


There will always be times when we are disappointed in ourselves. Our pre-recovery stories have examples of this type of thinking. We hope, in a Pollyanna fashion, recovery will end all our embarrassing escapades. However, our stories are not quite over. There’s always a sequel.

Don’t put a period where God put a comma. – Gael C.

Some events are so serious that we put a period after them – thinking we are hopeless, unworthy and unloved by God. We may see relapse as a place where we put a period – somehow we were not chosen for recovery. But relapse, too, can be part of our ever-unfolding stories.

We may want to add another period when something occurs, and we totally lose it – where we rage and cause damage. However, despite our shame and embarrassment, this episode, too, has a comma after it – not a period.

The true issue is what comes after that comma.

We may also want to put a period after our recovery date – sober forever, clean forever, never going to place another bet and so on. However, recovery itself is a comma, not a period.

What is important remains the same – what comes after that comma?

If I reflect on the “punctuation” of my life story, I see a clear picture of my powerlessness. We may want to be worthless, but God does not want us to be worthless. We may want our recovery to be permanent, but God may have other ideas for us.

Events in our lives don’t end with periods; they are all punctuated with God’s commas.

God pulls off the rest of our stories.


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Mike Lyding was born in 1945 in Phoenix, AZ. Since becoming sober in December 1993, he has been drawn to prayer and meditation. While meditating at age 58, he learned he had a desire to write. So far, the result has been two daily meditation books primarily for the recovering communities, Grateful, Not Smug (Daily Recovery Meditiations) (2006) and Gratitude a Verb (2009).


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