As I begin a new year, I was listening this morning to one of my favorite spiritual teachers talk about how this is a season for new beginnings and a time for remembering. A time for new beginnings that could instill new commitments (or re-commitments) and a time for remembering who we are, but even better, whose we are.
As a result of the fact I came to believe that a power greater than myself could restore me to sanity in Step 2, and I made a decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of that power in Step 3, I love the parallels of his talk this morning to what I am called to do each and every day as a recovered alcoholic, but certainly as we enter a new year of service to the still suffering alcoholic.
Each day when I turn my will and life over to the care of God as I understand God, I am, in effect, saying I am under new management. I become willing to relinquish my belief that I know better than God how to manage my life. It is clear by just looking at my history that I don’t have a very good track record of managing my life prior to coming to the rooms. I was oblivious to the fact that my life was unmanageable at my own hands, yet, I thought I knew better. I wish I could say that in over three decades of continuous sobriety, I have not tried to take back control of the management of my life, but that would be a lie.
I am grateful for the reminder that I need to, on a daily basis, re-commit my life over to the care of new management. I need to remember that left to my own devices, I can and will burn my life to the ground. But with that awareness comes the knowledge that once I remember who I am (and whose I am), that process of surrender becomes easier and easier. In my 4th Step, I identified not who I am, but I laid out very clearly who I no longer what to be. While my actions may have been those of a selfish and self-centered man, I know today that it is not what my God wants for me, so I get to let go of old ideas and replace them with new ones.
I am grateful for the demotion from upper management to mid-level management allowing my Higher Power to become the one in charge, the one who calls the shots, the one who loves me in spite of myself and my grandiose ideas of what I think my life should look like. I am grateful today I remember that I am under new management and that it loves me right where I am, just as I am – flaws and all.
My wish for us as we walk into 2024 together is that we all remember Bill’s words in his story where he said, “Belief in the power of God, plus enough willingness, honesty and humility to establish and maintain the new order of things, were the essential requirements. Simple, but not easy; a price had to be paid. It meant destruction of self-centeredness. I must turn in all things to the Father of Light who presides over us all.”
In love & service,