“WAGON TRAIN”

larry6My keyboard has been inactive recently.  My mind has not been able to wrap itself around spirituality or sobriety in writing.  It’s not a depression which I am feeling nor a sense of disconnect.  I see this as a time of self-appraisal.

I was a huge fan of the TV series “Wagon Train” many years ago.  Ward Bond as Major Seth Adams led his trekkers across the plains to a new life following the Civil War years.  He was the essence of wisdom and patience.  Many dangers threatened the wagons and their occupants during the months-long trip.  Whenever the hostile natives appeared atop the surrounding hills, Major Adams would signal the wagons to circle and form a defensive front to fight the attackers.

That describes me today.  I’m circling my emotional wagons in anticipation of difficult times ahead.  My focus remains on my Lord, my sobriety continues to be a mainstay of life, but, as David lamented in the Psalms, my enemies surround me and appear to be preparing an attack.

Some of those enemies are real and imminent.  One is declining health associated with aging.  The oomph disappeared several years ago being replaced by aches and pains.  Today, upon reminiscing over accomplishments of the 45 year-old me, I am truly amazed that I had the energy and capacity to do those things.  My focus now is fighting off the numerous maladies which are inherited gifts of DNA.  If I allowed it, I could easily wallow in those things over which I have no control.  I would do well to embrace the “serenity to accept the things which I cannot change.”

Another pervasively disturbing realization is that my idealistic world view is not shared by all of humanity.  Many of my species do not want peaceful co-existence nor spiritual enlightenment.  Many do not uphold the value of each human experience nor the equality of all human beings.  Seriously, I question what Pollyanna world I have lived in for much of my life.  Until recently I have imagined that the entire world dreamed of world peace and brotherhood just as I do.

So, I circle my wagons.  I know that I am not alone, that I have Major Adams to console and calm me, that I have other trekkers crossing the plains to share my ideals.  But, those enemies of a life which we hold dear to us are on the hilltop horizons with tomahawks ready to scalp and arrows ready to pierce.  They despise our ways, they want to destroy our values.  They disguise themselves as world leaders and church leaders, as politicians, as patriots, as sheep.  Beware!

MATTHEW 7:15

“WAGONS HO!”

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trust

Trust is confidence, belief, faith, certainty, assurance, conviction, credence.  The word “trust” gets batted around often in our daily interactions;  “do you trust your politicians?christmas emoji 3  do you trust your best friend?  do you trust your spouse?

It starts with me.  Am I trustworthy?  Would you trust your life with me?  Would you trust your financial savings with me?  Would you trust your deepest secrets with me?  If you were to answer “yes, unconditionally”, then I should probably call you a fool.

Although I am a child of God, I am still suffering the human maladies of greed, pride, and covetousness.  Although I am not who I used to be, I am not yet perfected into what my Higher Power wants me to be.  God’s example, Jesus, sets the perfection bar to be reached.  That bar is high, it will never be reached in this lifetime, but, it is the goal I seek despite my humanness.

In our recovery programs, specifically AA, trust is an important facet.  I trust the principles of my program which are set forth in the 12 steps, I trust the conscience of the fellowship, and I, without reservation, trust the Higher Power which I understand.  Sometimes, I extend unmerited trust to friends forgetting that they are also subject to the vagaries of our human condition.

That trust can be betrayed.  It is painful, it is emotional, it is often taken as a reason to withdraw from the fellowshipping which is my lifeline to sanity and sobriety.  In these times I must remember that I control nothing.  I am putting in the footwork, planning the action, but, do not control the results.  A friend’s betrayal of my trust should not trash my personal serenity.

God, give us grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed,
Courage to change the things
which should be changed,
and the Wisdom to distinguish
the one from the other.

Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as a pathway to peace,
Taking, as Jesus did,
This sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it,
Trusting that You will make all things right,
If I surrender to Your will,
So that I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with You forever in the next.

Reinhold Niebuhr

Trust is a cornerstone of my faith.  Faith is my hotline to God.  I need the blessed assurance of the trustworthy Comforter and Counsellor to keep that line of communion open.

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counseller, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”  Isaiah 9:6 merry christmas 5

 

 

all men are created equal

Following is a daily petition inspired by Marianne Williamson in ILLUMINATA

“….cast from me all harsh and critical nature, cast from me all anger and violence;  cast from me  all doubt and insecurity, cast from me all fear and hatred.”

Just as the SERENITY PRAYER was my mantra in early sobriety and continues to be a source of strength today, my version of Marianne’s supplication is a mainstay in the cultural and political chaos of not only America but the entire world.  When insight, understanding, and compassion seem to fail, what is left is either a plea to think, speak, and act in a civil and fearless manner or to react, respond, and attack in a hostile manner indicative of our prehistoric gene pool.

And therein is the solution to any and all issues facing us today.  We live in a world which has polarized its population into two groups.  The one advocates for the inherent rights of all people, the other attempts to continue the tribal instinct of self-protection at the expense of the remainder of mankind.  One is the path to enlightenment and global co-existence, the other leads to oppression and eventual species annihilation.  The choice of which direction to pursue is an individual decision.  It sounds too utterly simplistic, but each one of us needs to decide on which side we will stand in the evolution or regression of mankind.  We will all eventually exit this life in this world as dead carcasses so, it’s a matter of eternal legacy, isn’t it?  Which legacy am I pursuing?

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness…..” DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE

 

KISS 2016 GOODBYE

I’ve learned not to make resolutions for New Year’s after many failed attempts to change things I perceive as unhealthy or immoral.  I mean really, what’s so darned unhealthy about a Krispie Kreme in bed once in a while?  However, I do prioritize the opening prayer we recite at the meeting tables:

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Of course, being the alcoholic that I am (some of us are sicker than others), I find need to amend this prayer by adding “things I cannot change such as my past and other people, things I can change such as my future and myself, and the wisdom which is found in my recovery program.”

Works for me.  No regrets in February when I’ve gained weight rather than lost 5 pounds, when I’ve cut loose with a few cuss words rather than a prayer for someone I dislike, when I’ve spent too much on my credit card.  Keeping resolutions simple is sober living at its best.

For 2017, I wish everyone a great year filled with compassion and understanding.  Whether you are one who is facing challenges in recovery or you are one looking for spirituality in a crazy, screwed-up world, remember there is a Higher Power which has everything under control.  Simply ask that almighty power for the serenity, courage, and wisdom.

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