Inventory: A detailed, itemized list, report, or record of things in one’s possession, especially a periodic survey of all goods and materials in stock.
It’s a list to which we hope only God has access. We have hidden the entry codes, buried the maps, and booby-trapped the entrance to the cave where the list is stored. We have purposefully placed half-truths and outright lies in an effort to camoflauge its contents. It is a list we have kept from our parents, our friends, our fellow church – goers, and even those in our recovery group. The truth is that we have done a masterful job of keeping it from the one whom it affects the most: ourselves.
But if we really are ready to dive in to finding real answers to the persistent sins in our lives, we must take inventory. Paper and pencil, friend. Truth … gritty and real. It’s not for someone else to see for now, it’s just for you … and God. And He already knows. So don’t be lame and try to spin your own list to make you look better.
An inventory of who you are … that’s what you are going to assemble. Just what is it that you have done? If you are interested in repentance, change, new directions it helps to know what you’re leaving behind.
This is not to demonstrate your unworthiness, we’ve already done that. It is not to brag on how bad you are, that’s useless. It is not to beat you up, we’ve all done enough of that on our own. It is to face reality, and it is a necessary step.
I Need To Take A Trip
God, I’m told I need to take a trip – a trip inside myself.
I guess this trip could be pretty hard and very dark.
So I want you to come along and bring your lifht.
I’m not sure what I’ll find; maybe I’ll find myself.
I know I’m rough and demanding and always right.
But I’m not sure I’m as rotten as they say.
Maybe I am.
Maybe there’s good in there too; do you think so?
Well, I’d better start.
You’re coming aren’t you, God?
I don’t want to go in there alone.
(From Prayers for the Twelve Steps: A Spiritual Journey, Written and compiled by Bill Pittman; RPI Publishing, Inc., p. 15)
If you think the Twelve Steps are some wimpy little pathway to euphoria, think again. In fact, step four is the entryway into the darkness that belongs to you … and from which you are unwilling to hide. Taking inventory of yourself is tough. More later.
Reflections on the Twelve Steps are previously found in the following posts: