A Life of Joy

However, continuing to maintain a conscious contact with a G.O.D. of our understanding ensures the spiritual fitness necessary for continued sobriety and a life that remains happy, joyous, and free.

~ AA Literature

In Step #11, we learn that this prayer life is an ongoing practice or exercise. If practiced daily, we will become more aligned with the spirit of the universe. We will become more sure-footed in our sobriety. And, we will find more peace and serenity in life, no matter the circumstances. A couple weeks ago, I told you of the deaths of 3 people in our AA ranks. One of the parents is a friend of mine. He has now decided that AA is not for him as well. My heart hurts for his isolation and pain. I cannot say I know how that feels to lose a child to this disease. But, I can tell you that drinking and leaving AA would not be on my list of solutions. I have lost 2 siblings and a parent to this disease (and many friends as well); but those deaths were incentives to me to throw myself even more fully into the middle of AA and to devote even more energy into my relationship with my H.P. AA is my first defense against all that I do not want back into my life.

Here are some Step #11 questions for you:

  1. Have I sought God’s will for me today?
  2. Am I taking time to seek God’s will for me in prayer and meditation?
  3. Do I attend local AA meetings to carry the message of recovery and hear God’s will by listening to others share?
  4. Have a treated others today as if I was following God’s will? Be part of the solution today.

The Message

Those of us who live this program do not simply live this message,

we are the message. ~ Anon 

This is a program of attraction, not promotion. We cannot go into every bar in town and drag people out of there and into AA meetings. That doesn’t work so well. That is what boxers call, “leading with your chin”. I do take up the argument, that we are not the message, but rather G.O.D. is the message, we are merely the messengers. The question is: what message do we want to convey? I have to remember what attracted me in the first place: unconditional love, compassion, humor, understanding and an open door policy.

Most folks in AA will tell you that you may be the only Big Book that someone will ever see in their lives. If that is so, then it would make sense that we crack the book open every day, and learn what it says. I admit to being a Big Book thumper, but I cannot quote chapter and verse, and I never could. There are some handy dandy Big Book reference cards that one can use. That way, when a certain issue and emotion troubles us or our sponsees, we can refer them to a chapter that addresses such a thing.  The nice thing about AA is that there have been millions who have already recovered, so all we have to do is learn from their experiences. There is no need to recreate the wheel. Just jump in and enjoy the ride. As one old timer used to say, “Just shut up and get in the bus!”