Monday, February 20, 2006

God's will for me

I read somewhere in the Big Book (in or around Step 7, "Into Action" Chapter) that God's will for me is to fit myself to be of maximum service to God and those around me. For this self centered alcoholic, that's no small order. But, the way it is worded... to "fit" myself... implies that maybe this fitting is a project, not an event. I looked it up in the dictionary (fit, that is) and as a verb it meant to build to suit, or to prepare... So, I guess it's a lifelong journey, to prepare myself to be of maximum service to God and those about me. I attend a Men's Spiritual retreat in the fall, as often as I can... It's held at a YMCA camp out in the sticks, on this beautiful lake. Over the huge mantle in the lodge are the words "I Am Third." I never understood that for the longest time until I noticed a sign along the side of the road leading out of the camp that said "First is God, those around me are Second, I am Third." Man, did that hit home, what was being said.

The whole problem for me, is my self centeredness. It's why I am so fearful, so judgemental, so defensive, so boastful... So, it makes sense that the whole object of our purpose here is to fit ourselves to be of maximum service... It makes sense to me that its discuss in Step 7, since it is there we're asking God (humbly) to remove our defects fo character, only after becoming ENTIRELY ready in Step 6 to have them removed. I love the discussion of these steps in "The Little Red Book" published by Hazelden. The results of Steps 6 & 7 according to the Book are:

  • "a reconciliation of God's way of doing business, we become fed up with our way and with further practice of trying to run the show ourselves"
  • "a willingness to work out a plan for suppression of self centeredness through faith and a conscious contact with God"
  • "to experience dissatisfaction as a result of our alcoholic practices and to seek a spiritual inspiration that will bring us an inner sense of peace and security"
  • "increased faith, clean hearts and minds, ability to offer unselfish prayer"
  • "a spiritual courage that is fearless in its outlook on life; a desire to make restitution to those our drinking has harmed"
  • "a desire to quit bluffing and honestly give God a chance to remove all that stands in the way of our usefulness to Him and to others, true humility"
  • "elimination of our defective character traits, acquisition of peace of mind, and sobriety"
Once I read thru that passage several times, and took the time to reflect on it, I realized what a great expression of humility and Steps 6 & 7 this is. I had been to so many meetings early on, where people discussed humility, and could never get my mind around what was meant (perhaps because I had none myself). But, through working these Steps recently, I have found that peace of mind that comes from giving to HP my defects of character... and it truly does prepare me to be of service to HP and to those around me. Understanding all this stuff is one doing, carrying it out is entirely different thing. So, that brings me back to the key words in the little passage about God's will for me: fit myself. I am a work in progress... The goal is progress, rather than perfection. Thank God for that :-)

Today I am grateful:

  • that I didn't have to go in to the office
  • that I got to spend the entire evening with my boy and our dog
  • my wife went to her first class for smoking cessation
  • that I am sober and relatively healthy
  • that I have a relationship with my HP
  • for AA
  • for The Recovery Universe website

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