I reckon we can all have different understandings about everything, except one thing... and still stay sober!
The beautiful thing about the AA miracle of the 12 Steps, is... that not everyone has to understand it like me to stay sober... and I don't have to understand it like someone else... or, I probably wouldn't be sober!
For me... I believe that what's MOST important to me... is that "whatever way that I understand it is the way I should be doing it... and whatever it is that I understand about it... I had better be doing it!"
Over the last 21 years... I've watched AA's who have different understandings with each other --- and they do it different ways... and many of them are staying sober, they are happy, joyous, free, and in-touch with their self and with their Higher Power, (as they understand it), and they are being of service, helping others, particularly alcoholics... they've become better citizens, husbands, wives, employees, employers, fathers, mothers, children, brothers and sisters..... they are recreating and reconstructing wonderful lives, they have risen from the death and the ashes of their addictions -- to a miraculous way of living and being... all because we were so fortunate... to have a little band of 100 struggling alcoholics... way back in 1935... who found a way out, and they had a desire to pass it on to us, for generations to come.
And, just look at the positive results in our world... that came from the difficulties and struggles that they endured! They stayed sober through the tough times. They sacrificed their time, effort, money, and what they had to give... to write a book to show other alcoholics what they were doing -- to LIVE sober! They wrote a book... that showed how they took certain actions, and not only were they staying sober.... they had actually been rocketed into a 4th diminsion of life! An unknown world of existence that none of them had even dreamed or imagined. The closest words that they could find to describe their experience was that they believed that they had found some sort of Heaven... that they were at peace, and they felt safe and protected... and it was to them, as though... they were walking hand-in-hand with their Creator!!!!
Just imagine how that feels -- to feel "safe and protected"... and like you are actually trudging this road of happy destiny "hand-in-hand with your Creator!!!" It sends goose bumps all over me to think about it!!!
I have so much to be grateful for -- and I hope that I never forget my debt to ALL those who were necessary... from the very beginning of time... all the way through 1935, and 1939, and up until the time that the message of Alcoholics Anonymous was finally passed on to me, so that I could be in a place of willingness... with an open heart to accept it.
When I look at the big picture of "how is Dallas, the alcoholic able to be sober today?" ... I can not comprehend ALL the efforts that were paid by so many people... before I was even born... so that after I was born, and eventually became alcoholic -- that God's help would be able to reach me.
It's just beyond my mental comprehension!
And, the fact... that through not-perfect people, a perfect message, could not-perfectly be used by other not-perfect people... and, it could be so powerful... that it was nothing less than a miraculous re-birth!!! Go figure that one!!! Isn't it wonderful... to have opportunity to share the opportunity of being not-perfect!
Several years ago, I remember a popular book that helped many normal people... and it was "I'm Okay and You're Okay."
I never felt really okay... unless I was drinking!
Then, I land in AA, and what I hear is: "Your not okay. We're not okay. And, that's okay. Because that's why were here!"
I also want to remember the other alcoholics who came to AA and tried to achieve and maintain sobriety... that didn't make it. The many who dropped a buck in the basket, who kept the lights on, who participated to help carry a message... to others... even though they never seemed to be able to translate the message into actions -- for their own sobriety. It took their efforts, too. I kind of look at them as fallen soldiers. They enlisted but never made it beyond the battle field... but, because of their efforts, too, I was able to receive the message of Alcoholics Anonymous.
God's love, and grace and mercy....... towards His not-okay, not-perfect children... His rebelious defiant little brats... His little self-obsessed obsessors! His little commandment tramplers! His crumb-catchers turned carpet baggers! My how He loves us all!!!!