Sunday, February 21, 2010

I hope you find OA

I woke this morning to AA speaker John A. Over a year sober, he lived in his car, wandering through casinos looking for pocket change, jobs, his next meal - and going to AA meetings, working with his sponsor, trying, trying, trying. After he cried through a gratitude meeting, a fellow he didn't like (why is that always the source of inspiration???) told him, "I hope you find AA." He went on to explain he knew John hadn't really taken the Third Step because, if he actually had made a decision to turn his life and his will over to God, he wouldn't be living like that - that God takes better care of his kids than that. John goes on to say he had believed there was his time and God's time and he was tired waiting for God's time, but the truth is there's our time and God's time, and God's is so very much swifter than ours -- when we stop being the impediment. (Within 48 hours of that conversation, John had a job and a place to live.)

I spoke in another organization last week on the subject of "The Big Bad Wolf." After talking about the 1933 cartoon and fears rampant during the Depression and the growth of the threat that became World War II, I moved to personal fears. I read part of the Big Book about fear:
This short word somehow touches about every aspect of our lives. It was an evil and corroding thread; the fabric of our existence was shot through with it. It set in motion trains of circumstances which brought us misfortune we felt we didn't deserve. But did not we, ourselves, set the ball rolling? Sometimes we think fear ought to be classed with stealing. It seems to cause more trouble. (Alcoholics Anonymous,  pages 67-68)
I am afraid. I'm afraid of computer games, of the box of Bisquick in the pantry calling me to come make comfort foods, of people on the elevator asking if my retirement date isn't coming soon and whether I'm ready, of retirement. I'm afraid of failure, but even more I'm afraid of success. I am afraid. 

An OA friend told of her experience riding a bicycle built for two, her husband in front. She said the experience of holding onto handle bars with no steering capacity, looking around to try to see what's ahead -- that it's an odd experience. I'm ready to trust the driver, to let God control, to get me out of the way and see what success looks like. I'm afraid. Of myself, I have no adequate defense. Thank God I don't have to.