The Last Chapter
It is Sunday. And the weather has cooled off a great deal from what it was just a couple of days ago. Blue skies and 21c out, it was cool and breezy out and back tonight.
For some reason, I was a bit off today. I was napping and kept pushing back my alarm clock, oblivious that I had to be somewhere soon. I overslept by 15 minutes and then rushed myself into the shower and out the door.
I opted to take the overland route instead of the tunnel, hoping that it would buy me a little more time to set up, and a couple of friends were waiting outside the church when I got there, to help set up so I could get the coffee on.
It was nice to see one of my friends and get to talk to him about how things have transpired over the last week. There are key people who play into how I navigated the week as it happened. People I can count on in a pinch.
It was a fair gathering – the last week of reading from the Big Book, as next week will be the last Sunday, which is a Traditions meeting.
We began reading chapter 11 – A Vision for You. The last chapter comprising the “meat and potatoes” of the Big Book and the first 164 pages of required reading to complete the work of getting sober.
And in the first seven pages of this chapter we get to read about two of three of the penultimate vignettes that take place to cement the story of how the fellowship came to be.
First, is the visual and story of Bill going on a business trip, and it went badly for him and we find him in the lobby of the Mayflower Hotel, betwixt and between choices of either going to the bar, or phoning someone to help keep him sober.
Just a few months sober, he was on the bubble. What would he do? Go to the bar and drink, or safeguard his sobriety by finding someone to work with?
This decision changed his life, and penultimately the beginning of A.A. had begun.
For indeed he went to the phone book and started calling people from the phone book that was provided him, and it took many tried to get someone on the phone,
And I heard tonight, from a friend, that he would have stopped at two, if not having made that contact, saying fuck it and going to drink.
But Bill was steadfast. And finally he got Henrietta on the phone and eventually met with Dr. Bob. And that ever important relationship began.
The second vignette we get is the image above … Bill and Dr. Bob meeting with Anonymous number one in the hospital. This is the photograph that is the ultimate image of the fellowship, the “man on the bed.”
It is found in many places, and is hanging in the office at Inter group where the office and phone bank for the Montreal fellowship resides.
This chapter brings to mind the thought of choices. By this time, in the book, we have studied the steps and heard the promises, have been introduced to the spiritual experience, and spent time learning how to deal with ourselves, our employers, our wives and how to help those people directly involved with drunks like us.
The third vignette that is important to the sober journey is when the book paints the picture of Bill sitting in the kitchen with a long sober friend, and later, Bill has his own spiritual experience. These are the three most important stories we get about the founders of our fellowship.
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By now we should be steeped in the book. And if we have done it correctly, we would have landed a sponsor to help us with our steps, and found a home group to connect with to do service and hopefully we have landed and began building our foundations in sobriety.
The first 164 pages of the book are the work pages. It all comes to a head soon where we hear the famous Vision for You statement.
VISION FOR YOU
Our book is meant to be suggestive only. We realize we know only a little. God will constantly disclose more to you and to us. Ask Him in your morning meditation what you can do each day for the man who is still sick. The answers will come, if your own house is in order. But obviously you cannot transmit something you haven’t got. See to it that your relationship with Him is right, and great events will come to pass for you and countless others. This is the Great Fact for us.
Abandon yourself to God as you understand God. Admit your faults to Him and to your fellows. Clear away the wreckage of your past. Give freely of what you find and join us. We shall be with you in the Fellowship of the Spirit, and you will surely meet some of us as you trudge the Road of Happy Destiny.
May God bless you and keep you — until then.
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This is how the chapter ends, and it is an invitation to maintain the journey and with all we know now about ourselves and our fellow drunks, we have embarked on a journey that can only get better if we stick close to the program and each other.
A good night was had by all. July is coming to an end. And August is just around the corner. Nest week is Tradition Seven and then my birthday falls on the 31st, and we look forwards to the beginning of seasons change into Fall in a few weeks.
Fall happens to be my favorite time of year.
More to come, stay tuned …