- What do I do?

What do I do?




A discussion of topics related to relationships in recovery and treatment

Postby Dallas » Fri Jul 06, 2007 7:34 am

It helps me to remember -- that it's me that needs God's help -- and, that God doesn't need my help.

I remember hearing a spiritual guy once talking about a story -- where one of God's kids was doing some plowing with a mule. And, God wanted His kid that was plowing with the mule to go visit some of His other kids -- and carry a message to them.

The kid that was plowing didn't want to go carry the message to the other kids. He was balking. The kid didn't like the other kids -- and he knew the other kids wouldn't listen anyway -- even if he did tell them the message was from God.

So -- the kid says "Nope!!! I'm not going to go carry that message to those kids God! For one thing -- they won't listen to me! And, another thing -- You'll probably change Your mind about what's going to happen to them if they don't listen to Your message!!! So -- I'm not going!!!"

The story goes -- that the mule turned around and looked at the balking kid and started telling him -- the same message that God wanted the kid to go tell to the other kids!!!

The bottomline was -- if the mule could do the talking -- God didn't need His kid to go carry the message -- the mule could do it! The kid had an opportunity to do something for God! And, God could have used the mule!

What I learned from that story was -- if God wants me to do something -- it's an opportunity for me -- not an opportunity for God. God doesn't need me -- I need God. And, if God can get the job done through a jackass -- why is He allowing me do the job? :lol: :lol:

He's allowing me to do the job -- because it will help me -- not because it will help Him. I was the one who ask Him for help -- He didn't ask me for help. So sometimes -- I need to remember, willing or not -- it's a privilege for me -- if God lets me do something for Him.

I asked God to help me stay sober. He gave me some tools and gave me a job. If I'm not using the tools that He gave me -- to do the job that He's letting me do (which will help me and not help God) -- then, I need to suit up, show up and just do the job, whether I like it or not!!!

I don't have to like His other kids. I don't have to like what they do. But, if I want to stay sober (and I do) -- and get the help that I need to get -- then I've got to be there to give the kind of help that His other kids needs.

It took me a long time to figure that one out. So I was told that my "figure-outter" was broke -- and just go do it anyway -- whether I figured it out or not. And, so far -- it's worked for me! :lol: :lol:

Sober, happy, joyous and free -- That's what God wants for me. And, I can have it -- "if" I trust God (meaning: to do the work whether I understand or not, believe it or not, and regardless of whether I want to do it or not...just do it! ), and, clean my own house -- and, leave the other kids house alone -- and, try to be helpful to them! :lol: :lol:

My real purpose is to serve -- not to be served. And, my guiding principle has become to give -- rather than to receive.


Thanks for letting me be here!!!!!!!

Dallas

P.S. Praying for God's kids -- who are being and doing like I don't want them to do -- does nothing but irritate the heck out of me!!!

So -- God loved me enough and understood me enough that He made a special option just for me!!! I don't have to pray for them -- and I don't have to pray that they get anything. I only have to pray "for the knowledge of His will for me -- and the power to carry that out." And, that works for me -- MUCH BETTER than me asking God to do something for someone.
:lol: :lol:

To be or not to be? :lol: Where God wants me to be and where I want to be are not always the same place to be!
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Postby garden variety » Fri Jul 06, 2007 3:53 pm

Dallas wrote:The bottomline was -- if the mule could do the talking -- God didn't need His kid to go carry the message -- the mule could do it! The kid had an opportunity to do something for God! And, God could have used the mule!

What I learned from that story was -- if God wants me to do something -- it's an opportunity for me -- not an opportunity for God. God doesn't need me -- I need God. And, if God can get the job done through a jackass -- why is He allowing me do the job? :lol: :lol:

He's allowing me to do the job -- because it will help me -- not because it will help Him. I was the one who ask Him for help -- He didn't ask me for help. So sometimes -- I need to remember, willing or not -- it's a privilege for me -- if God lets me do something for Him.


Ahhhhhh! Can we talk about a sword having a double edge that cuts both ways?

If it is my job to "carry the message" of spiritual awakening to God's kids, my guess is there needs to be one or more kids that need to have the message carried to them. The problem has been all along sharing the message with who needs to hear it AND wants to hear it.

At almost every meeting there's a seat filled by someone that doesn't want to be there and has no desire to stop drinking - thanks to the courts and treatment centers. That same person also takes the time from a sponsor that he or she has no interest in "achieving" what that sponsor has got. The person probably hasn't asked God for help. The person will probably go back to drinking after "God's kids" have spent their time "trying" to carry the message.

Is it safe to say that it didn't matter who God's kids helped or didn't help because they were the ones who asked for God's help and by helping others who didn't want their help, the ones who carried the message got the help they asked for, and all is well?

How did God benefit from this exercise? At the same time there was another one of God's kids who sat in an alcoholic funk under a bridge that wanted and needed to stop drinking but didn't know how to. While God's kids were busy "getting helped" by helping a man or woman who didn't want help at a meeting, one of God's kids who needed and wanted the help of God's kids was under a bridge dying.

I know, "Easy does it" right?

Now what about those places with "bad reputations"? What about the racists who are not standing at the door welcoming God's kids of different colors? What about that group of "girl watchers" that make it a point to find the mixed meetings that attract the most women that fit their ideas of a "primary purpose" that is not recovery? What to do about those who are depressed after years of dry time but at least they didn't drink today? What if I'm at a meeting where I really don't want the kind of sobriety they have. How do I handle the people who seem to go out of their way to stay miserable?

I know, "Live and Let Live" right?

I never gave much thought to this until these past few days. I really need a simple answer because you can see how I'm grinding. Something is wrong that needs fixing, and it looks like more than my attitude.

Back to the 3rd step.

If I do the 3rd step every day, I'm asking for God's direction. He directs my thinking and helps me keep my thoughts from going to self-pity, dishonesty, and self-centered things.

The answer is simple. Plain and simple. I have to make a judgement call.

If I'm working the program to the best of my ability, the book says "God gave us brains to use". If I'm under God's care and direction, then my "thought-life" WILL BE on a "higher plane". The 3rd step IS DESIGNED to CLEAR MY THINKING of wrong motives.

Or as I like to say these days, "we will intuitively know how to handle things which used to baffle us".

That 3rd step is a real lifesaver, huh? If I do it the right way, it means what I feel in my gut is probably the next right thing.

I just realized that I get a new gift every day from the 3rd step. I get the gift of "sober intuition". Wow! I'm amazed again.

Thank you God and AA!
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Postby Dallas » Fri Jul 06, 2007 8:59 pm

I remember hearing a spiritual guy once talking about a story -- where one of God's kids was doing some plowing with a mule.


By the way: That story about God's kid carring a message to some other of God's kids... happened over 2,335 years ago! That was about 2,300 years before A.A. -- so, I wouldn't suggest using much effort to draw too many similarities in it to compare to A.A., or A.A.'s "Carrying the Message." (The A.A. message nor the Carry the A.A. message similarity was not intended in the message above).

The only similarity that I might suggest would be in "being where God wants me to be -- rather than where I think I should be." Most often, for me -- I've discovered that I usually want to be somewhere other than where God wants me to be -- doing something other than what God wants me to be doing. For me -- that's the message of the story.

Dallas
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Postby carol1017 » Fri Jul 06, 2007 9:57 pm

When I first started coming to AA, I thought everyone actually lived the "principles before personalities" stuff. After all, they had given me (who didn't deserve it) a warm welcome, they accepted me, and they were soooo nice!

Much to my chagrin, I discovered that they are just as human as I am (imagine that!). And if I can be human and have character defects, I suppose I had to let them have theirs. It took 9 months for me to really "get" the Serenity Prayer -- that the only thing I can change is ME. My attitudes and my actions are what will determine the course I follow.

Two things were said to me that have really helped me -- "Stick with the winners", and "You may be the only example of the Big Book someone ever sees".

Sticking with the winners, to me, means sticking with the folks who have long term sobriety and who actually incorporate the steps and principles into their lives. They are the ones who are examples of the Big Book, and the they are the ones who have what I want.

Follow those "gut instincts", find the winners and be what you would like to become.
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Postby garden variety » Fri Jul 06, 2007 10:12 pm

Dallas wrote:That story about God's kid carring a message to some other of God's kids... happened over 2,335 years ago!


DANG Dallas - you really got a good memory! :lol:
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Postby Dallas » Fri Jul 06, 2007 10:56 pm

Well -- I've got to keep my ego in check here, and be honest!!!

I remember hearing a spiritual guy once talking about a story


It wasn't 2,335 years ago that I head the guy talking about the story. It was about 35 years ago when I heard the spiritual guy-- He was talking about the story that happened over 2,335 years ago. That spiritual guy wasn't there when the story happened either. He had read it in a book. Not the Big Book. :lol: It was a different book. I went back and read that book too -- and saw the same story that the spiritual guy was talking about. But, the spiritual guy wasn't with me when that happened. And, I wasn't sober then -- either. I was just a hard drinker then. I wasn't an alcoholic. I didn't become an alcoholic until after I went to A.A. -- and they caused me to become alcoholic!! :lol: That was only 20 years ago -- and I remember that, because I've been sober. :lol:

I don't know whatever happened to the spiritual guy.

I do know what happened to the mule though. I mean, what happened to the mule before the mule talked to God's kid.

I sold the mule to the guy who sold the mule to God's kid, the one that the mule talked to -- the same night that I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express. And, I wasn't sober then -- and they didn't even have Holiday Inn Express then. So, it was some other place that I stayed, but I don't remember it. Like I said. I wasn't sober then. :lol:

Now for the honesty: It's been raining like heck here for several days. And, my trunk was leaking -- and starting to stink. I noticed that yesterday. So today -- because of God's grace and A.A., I went out and opened the doors and the trunk of my car -- to let it air out and dry out. I was giving my car a mildew detox.

Well -- while I was typing this message a huge rain storm came, and I was sitting here listening to the rain. And, because I'm sober -- I suddenly remembered that my trunk and my doors on my car were open so they could air out and dry out.

So -- I ran outside to close my trunk and my doors -- but, I was too late. The trunk and the passenger part of the car have so much water in there -- that the problem is about 1000 times worse than it was when I took action to fix the problem today.

So -- the moral of this story is -- sometimes we can take intelligent actions as a result of sober thinking -- but, if we don't take some other actions -- like closing the doors and the trunk soon enough -- we can have some pretty big problems as the result of trying to fix a little problem. And -- we don't have to drink over it!!! :lol:

:lol: :lol: :lol:

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Postby DebbieV » Sat Jul 07, 2007 10:15 pm

I posted a question in this forum a few days back and by reading, listing and praying I think I found the answer for ME, for what its worth here is what I learned:

From Dr. Bob's Nightmare:

I spend a great deal of time passing on what I learned to others who want and need it badly. I do it for four reasons:

1. Sense of duty.

2. It is a pleasure.

3. Because in so doing I am paying my debt to the man who took time to pass it on to me.

4. Because every time I do it I take out a little more insurance for myself against a possible slip.

From page 129: It is well to let him go as far as he likes in helping other alcoholics. During those first days of convalescence, this will do more to insure his sobriety than anything else. Perhaps the greatest sense of joy of all is to be out on a 12-Step call with someone who is new to the program himself. To be there to witness such power in action is nothing short of a miraculous hair-raising opportunity. Don't miss it!

Every Step in our wonderful 12-Step process points directly to Step 12. The whole purpose of the previous 11 is to arrive at the threshold of Step 12. We are delivered to recovery so that we may share our experience with others. There are 147 promises in the Big Book. We have been given so much. The greatest gift of all is that we have been placed in a position of usefulness to others. We invite you to help us celebrate this gift!

From page 102: Your job now is to be at the place where you may be of maximum helpfulness to others, so never hesitate to go anywhere if you can be helpful. You should not hesitate to visit the most sordid spot on earth on such an errand. Keep on the firing line of life with these motives and God will keep you unharmed.

This made me understand why I should keep going to meeting where I may be uncomfortable or don't like what may be said. I guess I had a moment of clarity :oops:
Thanks for letting me take up so much space and letting me share.
Deb
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Postby Dallas » Sat Jul 07, 2007 11:31 pm

Yep! Deb!!!

Sounds like you had one of those spiritual experiences!
That's precisely what this deal is all about! :lol:

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Postby anniemac » Sun Jul 08, 2007 12:08 am

Debbie, I'm glad you received your answer - that's fantastic that you are in a place of recognizing the answers when they come to you and being willing to take the associated actions.
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