Monday, May 26, 2008

Passing it on

We have begun a second chance at life.

Were I to be a unflinchingly honest, I would have to say it is more like my 50th chance at life...but who's counting? I am learning to forgive myself, and all along my journey others seems to be doing the same-for themselves and for me.

I am supposed to share with others-my experience, strength and hope. I am supposed to talk to them as equals, never from a spiritual hill-top, never talking down to them.

I have to be so loving, so free from judgment, so accepting of them as they are. Just as one alcoholic can hear the understanding in the voice of another-so too can they sense the unspoken scorn for their perceived failings and short-comings. I know that I can-nothing smarts as much to my pride as someone speaking words with their mouth, while I can sense disapproval in their attitude. It is a sure-fire way to lose the very person I mean to assist when I fail to bring true love into the equation.

Sometimes it is easy to feel the love for another human-but sometimes, I have to forcefully invite God into my discussion and repeatedly ask for love for my fellow. It doesn't mean i am bad or evil, it just means that I too, need help. And it leads me to wonder how much more loving I could have been in the other situations if I always took time to invite God into my sharing.

It works-it really does.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

May 13th

Twenty-four Hours A Day...

Meditation for the Day

Try never to judge. The human mind is so delicate and so complex that only its Maker can know it wholly. Each mind is so different, actuated by such different motives, controlled by such different circumstances, influenced by such different sufferings, you cannot know all the influences that have gone to make up a personality. Therefore, it is impossible for you to wholly judge that personality. But God knows that person wholly and He can change it. Leave to God the unravelleing of the puzzles of personality. And leave it to God to teach you the proper understanding.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may not judge other people. I pray that I may be certain that God can set right what is wrong in every personality.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Closed Book Study

My new sponsor and I agreed that we should start over at the beginning of the big book. The group had kept reading right past the first 164 pages, and when I first attended the meeting, they were finishing the first section of personal stories. I remember wondering why big book studies didn't continue into the stories at some point in my time in the rooms, and now I think I understand a little better. It involves reading a whole lot of differing opinion and conjecture about the program, and we have enough of that in the individual member's interpretation of the clear-cut instructions the book gives. So after leading it the first week, and reading one more of the stories, I proposed to my new sponsor, J___, that we start over. He agreed, saying that he was thinking the same thing.

So tonight we started with the preface, and it was just J___ and I. We were soon joined by another, and then eventually two more came in. Mostly it was J___ and I reading, although one of the other members read for a little while. We talked back and forth-J___ & I-sharing our experience, in the same general format as a Joe & Charlie book study. The difference is that I know my knowledge is very limited-I'm no Charlie! But we read through the forwards to all the four editions, and our sharing on that took up the meeting.

It is always a wonderful experience to read a book that has a special place for me with others. Starting the big book over again is exciting, because I know I will find new and enlightening messages contained within its text. Simply going over AA's history and the growth of its numbers from 1935 until the forward to the fourth edition as written in 2001...from two men, to 100 men and women, to 150,000 20 years later, to 1 million 20 years later, to 2 million 25 years after that...worldwide fellowship.

And it all starts when one alcoholic tries to help another alcoholic by sharing their experience, strength and hope.