Thursday, November 10, 2011

Lust and A.A.

Addicts and alcholics usually have several common traits and one of those is lust.  What do I mean by that?  I mean that we are always lusting after or craving the better high and the longer buzz.  Like non-alcoholics we also seek money and the outward trappings of wealth - the faster car, the bigger house, the better office.  We may get caught up in seeking more attention from the opposite sex or finding gratification through pornography.  All of these are symptoms of the same thing - selfishness.  We seek those things that make us feel better, many times ignoring the costs to our co-workers, friends and family.

The Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous, never talks about how to not drink.  It leads us from Step One through Step Twelve into being better human beings.  It teaches us that our happiness will not be found in drink, drugs, wealth, pornography or anything else outside of ourselves.  Happiness and peace are found when we humble ourselves, admit we need help and let God help us.  It's an inside job.

People reading this blog know me pretty well and will probably laugh at the thought of me trying to be humble and I must admit it's something I struggle with.  I can't say that humility is something I'm working on, because I know that I cannot remove my own character defects.  If I try to remove my own character defects, it remains all about me - I'M going to fix MY defects by MYSELF.  It can't happen.  What I have to do, and I believe we all have to do is found in Step Seven - ask God to remove them for us.  When we ask God to remove our defects it becomes about Him and His Power.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Circle is Wide

The other day I had the opportunity to share a meal with an old buddy of mine.  As we were catching up on each other's lives, I gave him a couple of bookmarks that feature the cover art and web address for ordering God is at the Meeting.  He laid the bookmarks down on the table.  A few minutes later we were joking with the waitress and she mistook the bookmarks for theater tickets.  She picked one up and when we told her it wasn't a ticket she read the title and walked away.  About three minutes later she came back and told us her sister is involved with A.A. in Colorado and she was going to buy her a book.  About two minutes after that, another waitress came to the table and told us she had 18 years in the program, she shook my hand and thanked me for writing the book, and said she would buy a copy as well.

Although I probably shouldn't be, I am still amazed at the size of the A.A. circle and the many ways God uses us to meet and share with others in the program and those who may need the program.  I don't believe these meetings are coincidence.  Step 12 tells us that we are to carry the A.A. message to other alcoholics - to share what we have learned and let them know that they "don't have to live like that anymore".

We never know how God is going to use us to be His messenger - it may be at an A.A. meeting, it may be in jail, or it may be something as simple as laying a bookmark on a restaurant table.

I'd love to hear some of the God coincidences in your life - if you'd like to share, please use the comment section on this page.  Thank you!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Why Write This Book?

Some folks have asked me why I decided to write a book about spirituality as it pertains to AA.  The reasons are pretty simple.  The first is based on something I hear frequently at meetings when people say something along the lines of "I know AA works - I don't know how it works, but it works."  I think people should know how it works.

The second is something that happens when I attend AA meetings at jail or prison.  I see prisoners attend a few meetings and then drop out or some who complete some steps and then either can't or won't go through the remaining steps.  I believe that if people can't see how the Steps connect to lead us from self-centered drunk to sober individual to leading a peaceful, grateful life, then they are missing the beauty of the program.  They miss out on the acceptance and unconditional support of the community of Alcoholics Anonymous.

I wrote the book with my understanding of the Steps and how they have worked for me.  Others may have had a different experience that worked for them and that's okay too.  My personal belief is that without God, AA and the Twelve Steps I would have been a dead man a long time ago.  My hope is that even one person can read my book and be encouraged to attend meetings, get a sponsor, work the Steps and find the joy of recovery.