Loving the sacred through word and image. The Canonization of John Paul II Sunday April 27…

Friday A.B.S.I. We Cannot Stand Still – or Can We???

tumblr_lclqfqHmYh1qeknmzo1_500 salmon3

From the Special Archives Courtesy: Salmon 3

For the first time this season, “Flurries” are in the forecast. Sadly, tonight, they did not materialize. We are sitting at (1c) at this hour.

It is the end of the week. And I departed early for the transit. It went smoothly and I was at the hall about ten past seven. It seems that getting there early on a Friday night is a good thing, because someone opened the floodgates because we were packed to the rafters tonight.

It was the largest number of folks we have seen in as many weeks. On the anniversary, the format changed to a speaker meeting, and we packed the hall, but usually on a regular night we have a normal showing. It must be the weather because lots of people are out and about.

The grind towards my anniversary continues. And tonight’s topic was useful, if not for some controversial because of the language of the piece.

We Cannot Stand Still …

“In the first days of A.A., I wasn’t much bothered about the areas of my life in which I was standing still. There was always the alibi: “After all.” I said to myself, “I’m far too busy with  much more important matters.” That was my near perfect prescription for comfort and complacency.

How many of us would presume to declare, “Well, I’m sober and I’m happy. What more can I want, or do? I’m fine the way I am.” We know that the price of such self satisfaction is an inevitable backslide, punctuated at some point by a very rude awakening. We have to grow or else deteriorate. For us, the status quo can only be for today, never for tomorrow. Change we must; we cannot stand still.

I heard a friend say tonight that

“I cannot live on yesterdays spiritual experiences.”

For most folks, who are within 1 day to 9 years or so, to be able to say I’m sober and I am happy … is the ultimate state of being, seeing they survived their dalliance with alcoholism. For right now, they are sober and happy.

And more power to them. Because it is far better than being DRUNK !

I also heard old timers with 20 plus years talk about complacency and getting stuck in ruts where there was no movement. They had read the books, then go to their regular meeting and see the same old faces, and life just becomes boring.

And I heard the warning for myself.

Shake it up. DO something. Get up off your sofa and put down the Ben and Jerry’s, and DO something.

Like that first friend I referenced above, we live on Borrowed time. We have outlived our lives, and now we are living on God’s time. So you better make it count.

Miss, Jackson, my algebra teacher from Junior High used to say on Test days:
“Time is a precious commodity, once wasted it can never be regained.”

For many, when we put down the drink, we are firstly filled with fear of the unknown, “what am I going to do now?” Then we find we cannot sit still, we have to keep moving. And you see this with newcomers who fidget during a meeting.

One night I was sitting in a speaker meeting and a friend was sitting next to me, and I fidgeted all the way through the meeting, and at the end he said to me, “Remind me never to sit next to you again …”

I can embrace stillness today. In fact I need to have it as part of my day. Times of prayer and meditation are times of stillness. This far down the road I keep certain practiced fresh. Prayer and Meditation are important to sober living.

Time is always moving forwards. Never backwards. And it doesn’t stop for a break along the way. So too, we move forwards with time, even if we don’t want to.

Yes, you can come to a meeting and JUST warm a SEAT. And I’ve seen people do that for a time, until, they get their feet wet and get comfortable in the space and with its people. Because unless you know where you are going, what are you going to do with yourself ?

I am not one to throw a Big Book at you and force the steps on you on the first night. God knows I’ve seen this happen at certain meetings when I first got sober. I never darkened those doors again.

Eventually you open the book and begin to read, and identify, don’t compare. And in time, you will begin moving forwards. Little by slowly.

Repetition. Over and Over and Over again.

We see the words, we read the readings, and we read the books. I heard that old timer say that if we feel unmoved – then may be it is time to start reading the book from the beginning again. He also said that we need to work with others, because if you can’t see what is wrong with you, surely those you work with will.

It is an exciting time to be sober in Montreal. Winter is coming, and with it, the snow. And we will see just who is hungry enough to make meetings, even when the weather goes North … Christmas/New Years is always a rich time for sober people.

To experience a first Holiday season sober is a GREAT achievement.

I came in, in December myself, almost 12 years ago, so I know what that feels like to share sober holidays with sober friends. It is a huge time of growth.

We cannot stand still.

45 days and counting …

it was a great night.

More to come stay tuned …

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