Jesus, Take the Wheel

Man, have I got a good story to share today!  Okay, to repeat for the umpteenth time, I chair the AA meeting I started on Monday mornings.  This morning I had a woman I know, a fellow addict but one who is resistant to 12-step fellowships, come with me to check out my meeting and see if she could find some common ground for herself.  So in we walk to the meeting room, and, lo and behold, a woman I have never met is sitting in the chair person’s seat reading a newspaper.  It is about 25 minutes before the meeting is to start, and, truthfully, I don’t think a thing of it.  My meeting takes place in a “recovery club house,” a building that houses different 12-step programs, so I assumed she was connected with the club house in some way.  I put my coffee mug and purse down on the desk and introduce myself.  She responds in kind, but says no more, and does not appear to be interested in moving from the seat.  I then say, “are you here for the 10 am meeting?”  She says, with a bit of attitude, “of course I am, I am the chair of the meeting.”

Now, let’s take a brief pause in this story.  For those of you reading this who know me, can you picture what my face must have looked like?  For those reading who don’t know me personally, I am extremely facially expressive.  Now, obviously, I can’t see myself, but the friend who came with me was chuckling later, and saying, “I wish you could have seen your face!”

Okay, back to the story…

I try as best I can to recover from my surprise at this new revelation from the stranger.  I am surprised for the following reasons:

1.  I started this meeting, solo venture, 8 months ago.

2.  Up to this point, I am the sole chair person of the meeting

3.  I have never met this woman in my life

So, I say to her, “I’m sorry for my surprise, I did not realize you had volunteered to chair.  To whom did you speak to take on this commitment?”  She says, “I signed up for it,” and begins looking around for whatever sign-up sheet she is referencing.

Side note:  I do not have a sign-up sheet for my meeting.

Back to the story… I say, “Don’t worry about looking for the sheet, it doesn’t matter, I am happy to share this responsibility, and it will be great for the meeting to have a different viewpoint!”

And I take my seat in the audience.  At which point I realize she has no reference materials, no meeting format, etc., so I pull out my binder and I get everything ready for her.  I explain the rotating literature format, and tell her this week is Big Book, and she seems amenable, so again, I take my seat.

The meeting proceeds fairly smoothly.  We have 7 attendees (I will now include myself!), she selected a story from the Big Book, and the meeting went on as any AA meeting would.  Turns out she has 16 years of sobriety, and again I am stunned, as I have never seen her before, at this club house or any other area meeting I attend.

There’s not necessarily a moral to this story, just an interesting chain of events that I wanted to share.  She did end the meeting saying that she “signed up” to chair for the entire month, so I guess we’ll see what happens.  On the one hand, I firmly believe that this or any meeting can only be improved by a variety of view points, so having someone volunteer to chair the meeting is a good thing.  I will admit, though, it did throw me a little, the way in which it played out.  I would have liked the opportunity to initiate this change myself, rather than have someone just jump in and do it for me, but my best guess is that she actually signed up for another meeting at the club house, and came to mine by mistake.  So we’ll see what happens next week…

Today’s Miracle:

I would say my recovery from my surprise chair person (facial expression notwithstanding) counts as a miracle!

Posted on June 3, 2013, in Monday Meeting Miracles and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.

  1. runningonsober

    Huh, what?!

    This could either go really well, or it could go a little… interesting? My first thought was, well, that’s really cool! But then I was like, wait, she signed up for a whole month and you’ve never even seen her? I guess she could have the wrong meeting, but she might be a little “off” too (I hope that doesn’t come out wrong.)

    Trust god, yes, but proceed with caution on this one and listen to your gut (that’s often how god speaks to us)…

    See ya tomorrow! 😉


    • It does not come out wrong, and I am glad you have picked up on my unspoken vibes! She was definitely a little off, but I can certainly see how it goes next week. It was definitely strange, especially because she has apparently been “in the rooms” for as long as she has.

      Already your motivation is working, went to the gym today to get ready for tomorrow (sort of like cleaning your house before the maid comes!!)


  2. You handled that in a much fitter spiritual condition that I would have, Josie…lol. I probably would have corrected her and told her that she probably signed up for the wrong meeting and thank you so much, and you’re welcome to join us if you want as I chaired…ha ha. You’re much more generous of spirit. I guess it’s just one of those things that is so out of left field you just go with it. But it’s a great story of trusting your inner voice and just going with the flow. Ride the wave. And it turned out well. So there must have been a reason for it all.

    Great stuff 🙂



    • Paul, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the compliment, because, if I am honest, I was feeling ANYTHING but generous in spirit. My ego was alive and well, sad to say. I guess the progress (rather than the perfection) is that I didn’t act on the feelings, but there’s always next week!


  3. Too funny! I’ve never seen your expressions before, but I can almost picture them because I would’ve had a similar one! Great recovery – no pun intended! Keep us posted!


  4. You handled this beautifully, and I love the way you told the story. I can only imagine the look of surprise on your face. Her sudden appearance and the sign up sheet sound odd, but as long as you and the others got something from the meeting, well maybe it’s the universe’s way to give you a little break. Meanwhile, another meeting is looking around for their monthly chair and scratching their heads.


  5. You really know how to compromise and not react and make a situation be what it is. Good for you!

    Facially Expressive #2


  6. What a trip! And what a testament to your sobriety as to how well you handled this. And i agree with BBB, you told it beautifully! What a fun post!


  7. This must’ve been an uncomfortable position in which to find yourself. I hope it turns out well. Thanks for being so gut level honest. I think we’ve all been in tight spots like this when someone stepped in, as your new “chair” did, without an invitation. You sure handled it graciously.


  1. Pingback: Jesus, Take the Wheel: The Follow-Up | themiracleisaroundthecorner

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