Thursday, March 26, 2009
Friday, 3/27/09 - "DOES IT WORK?"
"....an utterly simple and universally applicable test for Truth. It is a test that any man or woman of any kind, anywhere, can easily apply for himself. It is as simple and direct as the acid test for gold. It is the simple question - DOES IT WORK? This test is so staggeringly simple that most clever people have passed it over as not worth considering, forgetting that all the great elemental things of life are simple."
(From: "The Sermon on the Mount" by Emmet Fox, p. 132-133)
When I first arrived at the doors of Alcoholics Anonymous, nothing was simple for me. I was in such chaos, confusion, and pain that I was desperate to find a solution. I had tried many other solutions to no avail (churches, ministers, psychiatrists, counselors, doctors, medications, etc.). I simply could not stop drinking. Once I finally did stop drinking (through the help of a sponsor in AA), I discovered I needed a solution to the overwhelming difficulties of "living".
I have had many desperate people beg me for reassurance that there is a way out of the pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization they find themselves in - both in AA and Al-Anon. The only reason I am able to offer any reassurance is because I have asked myself the question - DOES IT WORK? (AA and Al-Anon) - and have been able to answer, YES!
People often then move beyond the simple DOES IT WORK? YES! to complicating it and asking HOW? But luckily, the program has provided answers to this too. The simplest of answers is:
H - Honesty
O - Open-mindedness
W - Willingness
If we have a willingness to be as honest as we can be, follow the program laid out before us, and have even the smallest amount of open-mindedness, then God can enter into the narrowest of places within us, and create the necessary CHANGE.
The change comes about one-day-at-a-time, one step at a time, slowly - with patience, persistence, and hope. At first, I had very little of that, my hope came from other members of AA and Al-Anon who had found the solution before me and had enough hope and faith to share. They supported and guided me till I found my own.
Today, I share this hope, belief, faith, and trust with those who have not yet found their own and with those who, like all of us, have our 'step backward' days.
I have had enough chaos, stress, conflict, desperation, anger, misunderstanding, emotional/mental/physical pain, and confusion for this lifetime. It is easy to be overwhelmed by it all. That is why I choose to share the hope, calm, peace, serenity, emotional sobriety, health, and wholeness I have found in AA and Al-Anon.
Thank God for AA and Al-Anon, for other recovering people I see face to face, and for all you cherished bloggers.
(Photo credit: Mother Nature's Valentine by Ranger Mark)