if you are sober today, give yourself and your God a hand
“Our stories disclose in a general way what we used to be like, what happened, and what we are like now….we thought we could find an easier, softer way. But, we could not.”
ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, chapter 5, How It Works
Wisdom from the BIG BOOK, the alcoholic’s bible, teaches us that there is no easy way to transformation and restoration. We cannot hang on to old ideas, we cannot party with the old crowd, we cannot entertain previous bad habits and expect a sustained, peaceful sobriety. Millions of successfully recovering alcoholics will testify to this assertion from HOW IT WORKS. For us there is not an easier, softer way.
Those of us who profess a faith walk and try to follow earnestly the God of our understanding know this principle applies to all aspects of our lives. Discernment is an integral part of daily living. Not only recognizing a spiritual value, but following the direction of that moral compass becomes a driving force in our lives. Talk the walk and then walk the talk. We cannot conveniently turn on and off the spiritual connection which has returned us to sanity.
And so it is that when discussions of social, political and religious significance occur, we have a choice – wallow in the easier, softer way of complacency and submission to the status quo or advocate what could be infinitely more difficult, but principled. Our guide? It has to be that same moral compass, that discernment which we discovered through the grace of sobriety. It has to be what was learned by giving up the easier, softer way.
I recently witnessed a conversation between two upstanding members of the community. Debating politics, one offered an opinion that his Christian faith had no bearing on his choice in the upcoming 2020 Presidential election. The moral character of his candidate had nothing to do with fitness for the office or ability to lead. The booming economy and low unemployment rate were, by far, a more important barometer than any character faults and defects. Maybe he is right. Maybe it is okay during the election cycle to put away in a box the faith and values which have transformed our lives. Maybe the economy, stock markets and retirement accounts are more important than the life and work of Jesus manifesting through us. Maybe. What do you think?