Speak, Lord, I’m Listening (or trying to, anyway!)
I had a really interesting meeting this morning. The fourth Monday of each month I take a little extra time and try to research some unusual AA literature to use at my meeting. This week, I found a really good piece. It was originally a pamphlet, produced in the late 1930’s, and used widely when AA first came into existence. The title of the brochure is “How To Listen to God.”
Now, if you have been reading me for any length of time, you know that I am prone to second-guessing myself, but I felt really confident about this reading. I have come to know most of my fellow attendees, and I felt reasonably sure that they would enjoy this piece as well.
As fate would have it, I had a new meeting attendee this morning. Based on what he shared, he clearly has some time in the Fellowship, although I personally have not met him. After we read the brochure, and I shared my thoughts on the subject, the newcomer was the first hand raised. And the first words out of his mouth? “I did not enjoy that reading AT ALL.”
He was very well-spoken, and very polite, but he did not like the ideas proposed in the brochure as to how to listen to God. He is, in fact, still uncertain about the God angle at all. He considers the Fellowship his Higher Power, and he hears the voice of his Higher Power out of the mouths of the people in the rooms. To use his words, “putting down the glass was easier than accepting there is a God.”
I will admit to having a few seconds of self-pity (how can he not like what I selected?!?), but I quickly rejected those thoughts to listen to his message. And I really liked what he had to say.
From my time in the blogging world, I have gotten to experience recovery through many different avenues… 12-step Fellowships, white-knuckled sobriety, using the blogging recovery world in lieu of 12-step meetings, Christian-based recovery, the list goes on and on. It is fascinating and uplifting to see success through the different channels. The biggest stumbling block, as I read, to 12-step programs is the belief in God. People who struggle with faith do not understand how they can commit to a program that requires believing that God can “restore them to sanity.”
Had I been as conflicted about the existence of God, I am sure I would have reacted the exact same way. I feel extra grateful that faith is one struggle I did not have, either in early sobriety, or now. I believe that alcoholics who also lack faith have an extra mile to walk in terms of recovery, and I have a lot of respect for their sobriety.
I went into my meeting this morning with the intent of sharing a really interesting reading on how to listen to God speak. But I came out of the meeting with so much more: gratitude for my sobriety, for my faith in God, and for the fellowship of Alcoholics Anonymous.
Having the ability to sit with a group of recovery-minded individuals, and talk about the benefits and stumbling blocks of prayer, is an experience that is hard to describe, but feels miraculous!
Posted on September 23, 2013, in Monday Meeting Miracles and tagged Addiction, Alcoholic Anonymous, fellowship, God, Higher Power, Miracle, Recovery, Sobriety, Substance Abuse, Twelve-Step Program. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.