A musical impresario once asked his teacher, how one got to Carnegie Hall ? The answer was simple, Practice, Practice, Practice …
Sports, Music, Life, Love, Marriage, Relationships, Sobriety … all take Work and Practice.
The conversation of questions continued this weekend. We saw little traffic over the weekend, all the numbers were down, across the board. Not sure why, because although it was chilly, skies were blue all weekend.
On Saturday night, one of our number asked the question of herself, and then to the rest of us, “Why do I have to keep coming back?” “Why do I bother, what’s in it for me?”
What’s the matter with smoking a joint, ONE joint? Because one leads to ten, for most of us, just like One drink, leads to ten more, because we all suffer from the same malady, the disease of “MORE.”
On Friday we talked about fragments, and how they play into our daily lives, when we least expect it, and when we most need them. Newcomers still grapple with the fact that we tell them to keep coming back. And usually, it happens, often, that we ask ourselves, Why do I come here, and when is this thing gonna pay out?
I can’t tell you “When” this thing is going to pay out. Those results differ from person to person. In most meetings, we hear, “The Promises,” which come in the Ninth Step work.
And our lady who asked those questions to begin with, we asked her to read the promises, at the end of Saturday’s meeting. And I said to her, that THAT is why you keep coming back. Because at some point, those promises will begin materializing for you too.
Tonight, we continued our read of the Big Book. And as it happened, our chair drilled into Step Three, since we are in the Third month. Last week we read How it Works, which precedes Step Three. That reading is a wealth of knowledge and reverence.
In tonight’s read, we finished reading Step Three. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, As we understood Him.
The prayers in the book, are there to facilitate the work we are trying to do here. Over the last couple of years, I have worked with several of my folks, who do not believe in God, therefore this prayer is useless. But with the work, I encouraged my folks to find their own words to pray, words that resonate with themselves.
Over the years, coming back a second time, and staying clean and sober, and working Steps, I’ve learned to integrate all of them into my daily life.
God has been the constant, giving, God in my life. And has been for the whole of my life. When I decided to step off the beam and back into self, I turn from God and rotate into self. Which usually ends up in a shit storm.
I tell the same story when I talk about God, this time around. When I was done, I was done, I knew it, so I prayed. I prayed a very specific prayer. Funny that God brought me every single item I prayed for, in the order I wanted it, and I found my way back.
In sobriety, I was good for a long while. Until year twelve, when I was restless, not necessarily, irritable and discontent. But I wanted MORE and I was ready for more.
I heard Bob speak and he asked us one thing … Do you pray the prayers in the book?
The answer was a big NO.
If you want fire and more, the place to begin is prayer. And the Step Three Prayer is the first one on that list of prayers you need to speak.
If you do not pray and meditate, every day, then what you get with that lack of effort is what you are going to get. Like it or not.
I invest in my prayer life, like putting money in the bank and going to meetings, and working with others.
Why do we keep coming back, to hear things over and over again. To read the books, over and over again. To hear fragments over and over again. And to learn how to pray and meditate, over and over again.
Because eventually, God is going to hear us, and if He thinks we are ready, answers and “things” begin to happen for us. It took decades for certain things to come. It was surely not overnight.
Everything I needed, or wanted, I had to approach it from the right direction of need versus want. I would pray, and I would wait on God. I might get a peek, or a period of time where things began to appear, but not everything at once, or everything I might need.
I kept coming back, and listening to my friends talk, and I learned how to listen for God to speak, because God doesn’t speak from a cloud, He speaks from our friends, people close to us. it is us who have to learn how to listen and wait.
First you pray … You talk to God.
Then you meditate … You get quiet and learn to listen for God
Then you wait … For the answer to come. If you are always in self and in your head, you sure as shit, are not willing to listen for God’s voice to come.
You never know when God is going to speak, like I said, it is going to come from someplace familiar, someplace close, from somebody we might know. God is a mystery, that He does speak is NOT. So I go to meetings, to rooms that are familiar. Rooms I have spent inordinate amounts of time in, where I know God moves.
I have seen Him move, among my friends over the past fourteen plus years.
It seems, for many that, they have to get down to nitty gritty, to be broken enough that they finally make the decision to stop living in self, and turn it over.
Let Go and Let God.
That is why we keep coming back, because eventually, someone is going to drop a piece of wisdom that is going to hit us right between the eyes, and we finally get that puzzle piece, hopefully, early in the game, so that you don’t have to wait years and years to begin reaping the good stuff.
I stopped battling God, and I stopped, well, I really never thought of myself as God, because I am not that arrogant, today I can walk and talk with God.
I am really grateful for the life I have and the people in it.
Even if I don’t know how to accept good things, that I have never had before.
I guess God loves me.