Clean and serene living is a blessing which is undeserved and unmerited grace from the one we call God. Whether you call your Higher Power God or any other name designated by various faiths, we accept that this indescribable, undefinable, incomprehensible power is the sole reason for our sobriety.
This way of life is a gift, but, there are payments due. It is not free. An attitude of gratitude is universally accepted as a prerequisite for “enjoyable” sobriety. Staying sober becomes a life of drudgery when we do not appreciate and give thanks for the sanity which has been restored to us. Responsibility begins with the willingness to share in the work of the fellowship.
Just the willingness to be that helping hand indicates our commitment to sober living. But there is more to living alcohol free than not drinking. The purpose of dedicated sobriety is to integrate us back into the communities from which we isolated ourselves. This means abandoning our attachments to self and ego in lieu of our children’s school activities, our local service organizations, churches, and, for some of us, politics.
When we begin to comprehend the vastness of God’s gift of sobriety, we also begin to appreciate the greatness of the society in which we live. Americans have an extraordinary heritage and tradition of liberty, freedom of choices, guaranteed personal rights, inclusiveness, and civil rights. We cannot take these ‘unalienable’ rights for granted. They were won for us by the blood and courage of our forefathers.
Today, some of us believe this heritage is in jeopardy. We believe there are forces coming into power which intend to deprive and annihilate the ethics and values which have defined us as the world’s bastion of egalitarianism. Some of us stand ready to use our intelligence, our gifts, our wits, and our power of sober-living to wage battle, as our forefathers did, to protect our Constitution and Bill of Rights. We intend to ring out joyously the sentiments of the Declaration of Independence. This is our duty as citizens and patriots. But, we must take action in humility and temperance; anger and name-calling will gain us nothing.
As experienced drunks we learned to pick our battles carefully, to weigh the odds and strike effectively. As sober patriots we need to do the same. Ranting over the results of an election, becoming immobilized with anger, and rattling off insults and profanity will not protect the America we cherish and love. As recovering alcoholics we know how dangerous and unproductive anger can be. It serves no purpose in our lives.
America’s challenges are daunting just as our personal challenges were in our addictions. But, with the God of our understanding in charge we can be victorious in any battles we face. Intelligent direction of effort, dedication to purpose, and, as President Obama stated in his farewell address, the “Yes we can” attitude will prevail.
It’s inevitable. The God of our understanding did not create a humanity where one race, one creed, one lifestyle is favored over others. The darkness of bigotry, intolerance, and injustice cannot survive in the light of our God’s mercy and love. But, it’s up to us to carry that light, to live in that light in all our affairs.
Onward! We have a country to protect.