G.et O.ut D.oors …
The week has begun and things are moving as they will. It is (-10c/-15c w.c.) at this hour, and they tell us that flurries are on tap overnight.
We have been changing things up at the meeting. Trying to find jobs for new members of the group. If you give someone a job, they take on responsibility and the show up every week to do their service. So I have wrangled three new members to come and learn set up next week. Things this week were a bit dodgy and emails weren’t read and folks couldn’t make it …
I left early because I wanted to scope out the mall and more changes have been made to the footprint of the ground floor. It seems many more of the shops that sat in the approach to the Metro platform have been closed. Yellow, the Florist, Laura Secord, and another corner store have all been shuttered. I don’t know if they are being moved to the other side of the large open space, we shall see.
I arrived around 5 o’clock and got the coffee and water urn perking and I waited until someone showed up to finish setting up. We had a rush of women show up around 6 so we all pushed out tables and chairs.
Turn out tonight was WAY up. We sat more than 60 folks. They just kept coming and coming, and we used up all the chairs we had. Many of the newbies who made their first meeting last week, on the anniversary, returned this week. And a new handful of newbies came as well. It is obvious that we are doing something right because numbers are up as of late.
We read from the Twelve and Twelve and Step 2 … Came to believe that a Power Greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity…
… When we encountered A.A., the fallacy of our defiance was revealed. At no time had we asked what God’s will was for us; instead we had been telling Him what it ought to be. No man, we saw, could believe in God and defy Him, too, belief meant reliance not defiance…pg.31
Once again the shares went around the room, and of course we talked about GOD once again. We heard all those things you hear from newbies in the room, and from one of our old timers as well … “What is with all this God shit ???”
For most readers, we now refer you to the Appendix 2 of the Big Book and the reading Spiritual Experience.
We hear all those sayings that give us pause over the god bit like Good Orderly Direction, Group of Drunks, and Get Out Doors… We even heard from a newbie, with some time under his belt share that he has been attending young people’s meetings here in the city, and that some, have re-written the steps to void any mention of the word God.
He found that disconcerting that people with days and weeks were re-writing the steps to serve their own needs, instead of working the steps are they are written in all the texts.
Eventually, at one point or another, we come, we come to, and then we come to believe. God is not absolute or the end all be all, because some come and they find the power that works for them, but for many, in the end, we come back around to the word GOD.
I share my story about my SLIP being one big disaster. And how long it took me to find my way back. I was in no hurry and I needed God to step in and He did. I was pretty raw and ashamed. I earned a few months sober before coming here and I hit a lot of meetings.
The God I knew from childhood, I mused, now in hindsight, is not the same God that I know today. I came to meetings, my home group for one, with a list of expectations and what I thought were entitlements. Since I returned and I had a little time, I thought, God would give me what I wanted.
The old timers kept telling me to Keep Coming Back, and Stay in my Day. It took me eighteen months to learn how to do that. One day at a time. Little by slowly, God reduced my list to nothing …
In the end I got what I needed and not what I wanted. I began to trust people at their words. I listened to them like my life depended on it. Because it did. I learned to wait upon God. And over the last eleven years I have learned to look for God, to listen for his voice and to see him move in a meeting.
Stay around for a while, and you will come to realize that God exists.
The steps were written in a certain order, with certain words to say something particular. When Bill penned the steps it was with a pencil and a yellow pad, sitting in bed one night. The steps came easily to him, but it was the traditions that took a bit longer to work out and codify them into being.
There is not really a way around it, eventually we admit our powerlessness, we come to believe and we surrender. Then Spiritual Experience is possible, because if you are holding on white knuckling it – eventually you will tire of hanging on in such a way that letting go becomes a good possibility.
In the end one of our new members earned her three month chip. It took her ten years to amass three months sober time consecutively. We were so proud of her. Secondly, another one of our members took her year. Another proud moment for the group. Lots of newcomers at their first meeting tonight.
We had cake, we had lots of conversation. A good night was had by all.
That is all.
More to come, stay tuned …