SOBER TODAY ? Give yourself and your Higher Power a hand.
“The advantage of most spiritual practices is precisely that they are about practice rather than belief…open to religious people and to nonreligious people.” RUPERT SHELDRAKE
The chapters HOW IT WORKS & INTO ACTION (chapters 5 and 6 of the Big Book) present the plan which has proven successful in the recovery of millions of alcoholics. In summary the final words of chapter 6 are a telling description of who we are:
“We alcoholics are undisciplined. So we let God discipline us in the way we have just outlined. But this is not all. There is action and more action. Faith without works is dead.” ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS pg. 88
For many of us this is the core of our recovery program. Belief is a wonderful thing which leads to a miraculous transformation, a peace and serenity beyond comprehension. However, we love to stagnate and procrastinate. Call it ‘wallow’ if you like. Wallowing gets us into trouble. That wonderful belief, our personal transformation, the peace of mind cannot withstand the powers of addiction if a rigorous program of action is not enacted.
The wisdom of the ancients in scriptures says:
“As the body without spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” JAMES 2:26
What are my deeds today? Do I show gratitude for the gift of sobriety in my actions, verbally affirm in prayer, reach out to the still-suffering alcoholic, follow the behavior necessary to avoid wallowing? I am, after all, by nature undisciplined. If I were a disciplined man I probably would not have spent uncountable afternoons sitting on a bar stool rather than tending to my favorite recreation, gardening. If I were a disciplined man I would have appreciated the woman who shared my life rather than carouse the honky-tonks at night. If I were a disciplined man I would have succeeded in college, in the military, in the jobs which I trashed while chasing my demons.
Then again, maybe not. My nemesis is cunning, baffling, and powerful. It wanted to see me dead or institutionalized. It told me the lies which I wanted to hear. It was the higher power of my life before I embraced the actions of recovery. It did not care whether I was disciplined or not. Seeing another sucker for the allure of the jukebox and the bottle, alcoholism claimed 17 years of my life.
Appreciating sober-living involves belief. But, keeping sobriety is all about practice, practice, practice.