Thursday, January 14, 2010

A re-opening

Lack of power, that was our dilemma. We had to find a power by which we could live, and it had to be a Power greater than ourselves. Obviously. But where and how were we to find this Power?

Well, that's exactly what this book is about. Its main object is to enable you to find a Power greater than yourself which will solve your problem. That means we have written a book which we believe to be spiritual as well as moral. And it means, of course, that we are going to talk about God. Here difficulty arises with agnostics. Many times we talk to a new man and watch his hope rise as we discuss his alcoholic problems and explain our fellowship. But his face falls when we speak of spiritual matters, especially when we mention God, for we have re-opened a subject which our man thought he had neatly evaded or entirely ignored. (Page 45 of the Big Book)

I remember feeling frustrated when I discovered that God was going to be an important part of my recovery. I had spent the previous few years running away from God and there he was, right in front of me. As one of my grandson's said, "Grrrrr". One of the things that happened in treatment was that I was given permission to rebuild what I believed. I didn't have to drag old understandings with me as I started my life anew. I could place myself in the hands of a loving, compassionate and patient God, sans the big stick.

One of the suggested topics of last nights meeting was on how do we find God now. It generated a lot of interesting sharing with the gist being that God finds us and not the other way round. One fellow, who has recently returned to the rooms, shared that another way to look at God was Good Orderly Direction and not some nebulous being.

We spoke after the meeting, I shared a bit about how I wanted a God with a magic wand , who would make my life better without effort on my part. I had learned that I need to do the work, to take responsibility. I shared on how I turned my will and life over to God and that I had no idea who God was but that I would now take direction from my Higher Power. I mentioned that I assumed that direction would be to finish working the steps and start loving the person right in front of me. This fellow stepped closer to me and shared that he didn't believe that one could get any direction from God and that he doubted the 12 steps were effective either. As he stepped closer, the smell of stale booze assailed me, reminding me that his battle is raw, that his wounds are wide open but his defences were built high.

I hope and pray that he finds that power greater than himself. That he finds the courage to break down his walls and let his opinions go. I remind myself that it was and is a painful road of change for me and that it probably will be the same for that fellow. I hope he makes it. He's already doing service work for he taught me a lot. I am grateful I took the time be with him. Hope I see him again.

Thanks for letting me share.

Photo Credit: Alasdair Thompson


An Irish Friend of Bill said...

newcomers can be very exasperating, but i always see myself in them out of the corner of my eye. my own stubborn pride and reluctance to reveal my vulnerability for fear of being manipulated. I can never really have the moral high ground with them, and if for ? some reason i feel like i am better than they are, they sense that something is wrong and get more and more agitated. so their hair-trigger reactivity keeps me on my toes, :) and shows me when i am off beam, or not trying hard enough to be patient and kind.
i forget how long it takes me to learn new tricks. :)

I hope he keeps coming back. it sound like it was a empathetic and heartfelt exchange. you can't beat the milk of human kindness :) Makes you feel GREAT afterwards.. even with the exasperating ones. Eventually :)

An Irish Friend of Bill said...

but yeah the god word always freaks out new people. i use the word 'power greater than yourself' with new ppl, in reference to obvious powers, such as the power that makes the earth turm or the power of AA as a whole, as so many just stop listening when they hear the work 'god'
i try to select words that will not get their back up. if they do the steps, they will 'get' the god thing anyhow, so theres no need for me to rush it. a secular pragmatic HP can keep em sober, so no G word is needed really. bless em. they are so !!! easily freaked out :) I play it cool and just try to make em think i am not a loser :) as they tend to think anyone who goes to aa must be a bit of a sad git :) hehe Nc's are so dang crazy..

Syd said...

I hope that he makes it too. I'm glad that you were there for him too.

Susan Deborah said...

Thanks for sharing as always.

Yes, its difficult to come back to the faith we once discarded but then we all do have our 'prodigal' years. We come back.

I do wish that the person you met will be strengthened and sustained.

Joy always,