Page 3 of 365 … Our Father
It is day Three of Three Hundred and Sixty Five.
It was another bitter day in the neighborhood. We are sitting at (-23c / -34c) tonight. But even the cold did not dissuade folks from traveling to the meeting tonight.
It was a quiet day today. The end of the week doesn’t really mean anything except that it is Friday and another week has passed. It seems that I don’t have all the information I need to write fully, meaning, I wrote something the other night and within minutes of me posting that set of words, hubby gave me some information that I was not privy to just a few hours prior.
Hopefully this new information won’t harm our upwards battle to become financially free and that money won’t be “that much” of a worry like it had been in 2013.
Tonight, it looks like, according to Environment Canada, our last night of bone chilling cold. Things warm up, if they can warm up in Winter, warmer than it has been as of late. Everyone around from West to East, and all points North and South are in the grip of winter blizzards and snow, and here in the valley, we seem to be coasting through without any real accumulations.
I was prepared to leave early and so I did. Both transits were quick and easy. And I arrived to find two of my favorite people setting up the meeting. It seems that changes have been voted on that I did not participate in at the last business meeting.
We moved the space in the hall again.
There are three dedicated spaces to meet. In the back of the hall are tables and chairs we used to use when the meeting was smaller, the meeting grew, and we outgrew that room, and we moved to the next larger space, moving tables and chairs into it to populate. And since, the meeting has tripled in size over the last ten months.
The thinking is, that if more than forty people show up, the meeting will split in two and we will run two meetings instead of one, to give everybody a chance to share at the space.
Because when you seat more than forty people, an hour isn’t enough time to get everybody in. So if you split up the group, there is more opportunity to get in under the wire.
That was a lot of words …
The A.B.S.I. reading dealt with the “sect” issue as in the preamble, which we read at the beginning of every meeting.
… A.A. is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics. organization or institution, does not wish to engage in any controversy neither endorses or opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics achieve sobriety.
I neither cared for the reading tonight, as did others in the room. I took it in another direction by relating a sober story. The reading speaks of religion, as in A.A. had reunited people with their respective religions…
At our meeting, God is a term that is tossed from one side to another and elicits a number of reactions, from revulsion, anger, to respect and adoration. Some of our folks cannot stomach the word but they are sober despite that. The knee jerk reaction that some sober people, long term or short term have to an institutional God of maybe their family or upbringing is really an issue.
Everybody has their gripe with God. And everybody has baggage that they bring to the table, and for most part, that baggage has to do with God, but in the book Bill conquers that problem with …
“God of our understanding.”
So God got tossed all over the place tonight. And a friend spoke very resolutely, “I am so sick of all this God shit …” Because it seems that inevitably, God comes up more than we like to admit. because A.B.S.I. deals with assorted writings of ALL the literature on any given day.
And it becomes tiresome after while.
With all that said, I wanted to share this story with you from someone I heard speak tonight. He is a friend, he’s got some time, and he had a “moment” over the past few days.
Where religion rises in discussion, prayer usually follows. And our guy mentioned the Our Father. A prayer that has been added to the litany of prayers alcoholics recite at meetings. In the beginning, that prayer was not part of the movement. However Christian the slant of the program was. One of Bill’s counselors was a Catholic priest.
Our guy used to balk every time he heard the Our Father, because of the old baggage that was associated with that prayer, coming from his family of origin and the Catholic faith he was raised in and then became estranged for a number of reasons. Life happened. And sometimes church does not concur with certain life situations, thereby alienating people by the droves.
The other night our guy was in company of others in the program and he overheard someone reciting the prayer with a sponsee on the phone, and instead of recoiling as he once did, he “sank into the words.”
Our Father, Who art in HeavenHallowed be thy name
thy kingdom come, thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
and forgive us our trespasses as
we forgive those who trespass against us
And lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil,
For thine is the Kingdom
and the Power and the Glory
forever and ever Amen…
Something that every alcoholic needs when he/she enters a room and a community of people is HOPE. And for a long time, our guy could not see hope, better yet, find it as it stood in front of him. And for some reason, as he sat there listening to this recitation, he heard the word HOPE rise and enter his consciousness and his heart.
The prayer is a simple prayer that has been recited for eons. And that was the take away from tonight’s discussion. In the rooms, the one thing we need to recover from a disease that is mental, physical and spiritual, the answer is HOPE. We should endeavor every day to share hope with every person who crosses our doorways.
Listening to this story being related was a gift.
It was a tough New Years again. I worried for our newbies, one in particular, who seemed so together, but when push came to shove he drank again, but he was present and sober tonight. He came back. And he was courageous. We are all so proud of him.
It is the New Year, no better time than the present to try, tray again …
Alcoholism knows no barrier. No class, No creed, No religion, No orientation – it is an equal opportunity disease. And the way we do it is one day at a time, together, unified by a primary purpose, to stay sober and help other alcoholics achieve sobriety.
A good night was had by all.
More to come, stay tuned …