Monday, 26 November 2012
"But I just don't feel connected to God"
'God came to meet me, though you, but you knew me, because I was an alcoholic, and it didn't make any difference.' (A New Pair Of Glasses, Chuck Chamberlain)
'We found that God does not make too hard terms with those who seek Him.' (Alcoholics Anonymous, 46:2)
'When we drew near to Him He disclosed Himself to us!' (Alcoholics Anonymous, 57:2)
'Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.' (James 4:8)
'God will constantly disclose more to you and to us. Ask Him in your morning meditation what you can do each day for the man who is still sick. The answers will come, if your own house is in order.' (Alcoholics Anonymous, 164:2')
A lot of people worry about how to establish a relationship with God. They worry that they do not 'feel' a relationship with God.
My experience has been that the quickest way to establish a relationship with God is to establish a relationship with other alcoholics, based on me being honest with them, and them being honest with me back. We may not realise that this is establishing a relationship with God, but it is, as, if we are all children of a living Creator (28:2), we are establishing a relationship with the very substance of God by connecting with others.
To establish an ongoing, permanent relationship with God that will sustain me through thick and thin, however, I need to meet the terms described in Alcoholics Anonymous for God to reach me.
There are seven 'death threats' in Alcoholics Anonymous. If we see to it that these seven areas of relationship with others are resolved, (a) we will stay sober and (b) we will invariably find some sense of a power greater than ourselves operating in our lives. If we have unfinished or unattended-to business in these areas, we will eventually drink and God will remain an abstract idea.
'But with the alcoholic, whose hope is the maintenance and growth of a spiritual experience, this business of resentment is infinitely grave. We found that it is fatal. For when harbouring such feeling we shut ourselves off from the sunlight of the Spirit. The insanity of alcohol returns and we drink again. And with us, to drink is to die.
If we were to live, we had to be free of anger. The grouch and the brainstorm were not for us. They may be the dubious luxury of normal men, but for alcoholics these things are poison.' (p. 69)
(2) Harmful conduct
'If we are sorry for what we have done, and have the honest desire to let God take us to better things, we believe we will be forgiven and will have learned our lesson. If we are not sorry, and our conduct continues to harm others, we are quite sure to drink. We are not theorizing. These are facts out of our experience.' (p. 70)
'The best reason first: If we skip this vital step, we may not overcome drinking. Time after time newcomers have tried to keep to themselves certain facts about their lives. Trying to avoid this humbling experience, they have turned to easier methods. Almost invariably they got drunk. Having persevered with the rest of the program, they wondered why they fell. We think the reason is that they never completed their housecleaning. They took inventory all right, but hung on to some of the worst items in stock.' (pp. 71, 72)
(4) Unmade amends
'we will never get over drinking until we have done our utmost to straighten out the past. We are there to sweep off our side of the street, realizing that nothing worthwhile can be accomplished until we do so' (pp. 77, 78)
(5) Unfaced creditors
'We must lose our fear of creditors no matter how far we have to go, for we are liable to drink if we are afraid to face them.' (p. 78)
'It is easy to let up on the spiritual program of action and rest on our laurels. We are headed for trouble if we do, for alcohol is a subtle foe. We are not cured of alcoholism. What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition. Every day is a day when we must carry the vision of God’s will into all of our activities.' (p. 85)
(7) Working with others
'For if an alcoholic failed to perfect and enlarge his spiritual life through work and self-sacrifice for others, he could not survive the certain trials and low spots ahead. If he did not work, he would surely drink again, and if he drank, he would surely die.' (pp. 14, 15)