SPEAK YOUR TRUTH QUIETLY AND CLEARLY
Even after years of continuous sobriety, Step 1 of the AA program is as relevant today for me as it was back in 1981. They called it “self-will run riot” at the meeting tables. We, if we were honest about our situation, could heartily agree with the unmanageable existence that had become everyday life under the control of alcohol.
But, there had to be more than merely admitting that we had a drinking problem and that our lives were unmanageable. We had to change who we were, how we processed life situations. We had to change our thinking and our priorities. It was not easy. Many did not make the transition and returned to old ways under the clutches of addiction.
So, you might ask, “what made the difference, why would some succeed while others slipped back into drinking?”
SURRENDER. Surrendering to the wisdom at the meeting tables, to those who cared enough to share their stories, to those who sat up into the wee morning hours to guide us through moments of weakness, to the inspiration given in the writings of Bill W. and Dr. Bob, and finally to a power greater than us – that Higher Power which appears under innumerable names and philosophies. We had to surrender everything which told us that we were special and unique, separate from the gutter drunk or the teenaged hustler on the street corner. We had to accept that “but for the grace of God, there go I.”
Have I surrendered today? Have I turned over all my concerns, all my fears, all my prejudices, all my doubts and insecurities? Have you?
We are told that we no longer need to live lives of continual turmoil. We don’t need to worry about the stock market, about wars in distant lands, about turmoil in our country, about pandemics that could kill us because ultimately we do not have control over anything outside the heart and soul that comfort us. We, if we have surrendered, trust in the goodness of humanity and the grace of a Higher Power. It is the only pathway to internal peace. Internal peace is the only pathway to a world of peace. Worrying contradicts surrender and robs us of peace. What’s our choice going to be?
A favorite passage from the book of Luke tells me:
“…can any of you, for all your worrying, add a single moment to the span of your life?” LUKE 12:25-26
“The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”
We do our best to stay healthy, to avoid unnecessary exposure to COVID-19, and yet there are times when those of us who believe and trust in a Higher Power simply must for the sake of sanity sit back and whisper, “Lord, be gracious unto me, shine your face upon me and give me peace.”
Yesterday was one of those days for me. I volunteered to venture to the grocery store and pick up a few items for a friend who does not drive. Like me, he is nearly ancient and has a few disabilities. When I delivered the bread and soup to his house, I tooted the horn and waited outside in my truck. He came out, stuck his head into my cab through the open passenger window, we chatted briefly and then he coughed into my air space in the truck without bothering to cover his face.
My response was not charitable nor friendly. “Get your head out of my truck and go away,” I yammered with a few added expletives.
May the Lord forgive me for my words. But in these times our faith that a Higher Power has got this under control is truly all we have to guide us with grace and peace. All the precautions, all the masks and safety measures, all the social distancing will avail us nothing unless each of us takes this virus seriously.
Stay at home, be vigilant, and for God’s sake cover your mouth.