from "Daily Reflections" by A.A. Members for A.A. Members

Archive for July, 2014

A Prayer for all Seasons

God grant us the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, Courage to change the things we can. And wisdom to know the difference. ~ TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, p. 125

The power of this prayer is overwhelming in that its simple beauty parallels the A.A. Fellowship. There are times when I get stuck while reciting it, but if I examine the section which is troubling me, I find the answer to my problem. The first time this happened I was scared, but now I use it as a valuable tool. By accepting life as it is, I gain serenity. By taking action, I gain courage and I thank God for the ability to distinguish between those situations I can work on, and those I must turn over. All that I have now is a gift from God: my life, my usefulness, my contentment, and this program. The serenity enables me to continue walking forward. Alcoholics Anonymous is the easier, softer way. 

 

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Giving Back

. . . he has struck something better than gold. . . . He may not see at once that he has barely scratched a limitless lode which will pay dividends only if he mines it for the rest of his life and insists on giving away the entire product. ~ ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, p. 129

My part of the Seventh Tradition means so much more than just giving money to pay for the coffee. It means being accepted for myself by belonging to a group. For the first time I can be responsible, because I have a choice. I can learn the principles of working out problems in my daily life by getting involved in the “business” of A.A. By being self-supporting, I can give back to A.A. what A.A. gave to me! Giving back to A.A. not only ensures my own sobriety, but allows me to buy insurance that A.A. will be here for my grandchildren. 

 

Anonymous Gifts of Kindness

As active alcoholics we were always looking for a handout in one way or another. ~ “THE TWELVE TRADITIONS ILLUSTRATED,” p. 14

The challenge of the Seventh Tradition is a personal challenge, reminding me to share and give of myself. Before sobriety the only thing I ever supported was my habit of drinking. Now my efforts are a smile, a kind word, and kindness.

I saw that I had to start carrying my own weight and to allow my new friends to walk with me because, through the practice of the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions, I’ve never had it so good. 

 

Those Who Still Suffer

Let us resist the proud assumption that since God has enabled us to do well in one area we are destined to be a channel of saving grace for everybody. ~ A.A. COMES OF AGE, p. 232

A.A. groups exist to help alcoholics achieve sobriety. Large or small, firmly established or brand-new, speaker, discussion or study, each group has but one reason for being: to carry the message to the still-suffering alcoholic. The group exists so that the alcoholic can find a new way of life, a life abundant in happiness, joy, and freedom. To recover, most alcoholics need the support of a group of other alcoholics who share their experience, strength and hope. Thus my sobriety, and our program’s survival, depend on my determination to put first things first. 

Giving Freely

We will make every personal sacrifice necessary to insure the unity of Alcoholics Anonymous. We will do this because we have learned to love God and one another . ~ A.A. COMES OF AGE, p. 234

To be self-supporting through my own contributions was never a strong characteristic during my days as a practicing alcoholic. The giving of time or money always demanded a price tag.

As a newcomer I was told “we have to give it away in order to keep it.” As I began to adopt the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous in my life, I soon found it was a privilege to give to the Fellowship as an expression of the gratitude I felt in my heart. My love of God and of others became the motivating factor in my life, with no thought of return. I realize now that giving freely is God’s way of expressing Himself through me.