Sunday, 28 November 2010

Praying for a sober day?

When I was new, I used to pray for a sober day. And that's kinda where the praying stopped. This prayer (coupled with a 'thank you' at night) I saw as simply one of many things I did during the day, e.g. calling newcomers or washing cups at a meeting, essentially to keep MYSELF sober so I could get on with the business of living MY life. Like paying my insurance premiums or brushing my teeth. Not really the focus of my day, but necessary at some low level. Or perhaps like a talisman or a superstition.

This relegates God to a box that needs to be ticked, and His role to that of 'little helper'.

I am sober ALREADY because of God. The conversation I imagine going something like this:

Me: "God, please keep me sober."

God: "Erm . . . I got you sober without your knowledge or even consent or permission, just to see if you would make a better hash of things sober than you did drunk, because I've got this amazing mission for you, and you're, like, totally missing the mark. There's a YOU-shaped hole in the world, and you need to get out there and fill it, Buddy. Listen, I've got Jennifer on the other line, and she's asking for some really specific direction. Gotta go to it. Later."

[Sadly, I'm not listening, because, now I've said my prayers, I'm back to MY little plans and designs.]

Me [several hours later]: "God, thank you for keeping me sober."

Me [next morning]: "God, please keep me sober."

God: "You're clearly not listening. Look, I "drew you out of many waters"—do you not even read Psalm 18? Jeez. I wonder why I wrote it, sometimes—and now you're lying on the beach worried about whether or not you're going to tumble back into said waters. Why don't you start asking me what do with the 24 hours a day you've been given back? The whole 'sober' thing's a total given. Got it?"

Me: "God, thank you for keeping me sober."

Me: "God, please keep me sober."

God: "This is getting embarrassing. I guess I'll just have to wait for the tide to come in . . ."

[Tide comes in, I panic, I can feel the waters lap at my ankles, and I check out the top of page 63. Change in tack:]

Me: "God, I'm totally screwed, I have no idea how to live on the beach, here; all of my old plans and designs which seemed to get me through when I was splashing around in the water just don't work now I'm on dry land. I'm going to stay close to you all day; just give me the next indicated action. Show me how I can do YOUR work, because mine is totally sucking."

God: "Now we're in business . . ."

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