Friday, 29 March 2013
Staying close to God
Page 63 of the book Alcoholics Anonymous enjoins us to stay close to God. To this end, employ the following ten methods.
(1) Talk to God
You can’t have a relationship with anyone unless you talk to them. If you want a relationship with God, talk to God. Talk to God like you would a person. Till Him (or Her) what is going on: the truth, worries, questions, … whatever.
(2) Listen to God
You can’t have a relationship with anyone unless you listen to them. If you want a relationship with God, listen to God. Listen to God like you would a person. Pause in the conversation and wait to see what comes to mind.
(3) See God in everyone
Look past the surface. On the surface, you’re probably seeing only what appeals to you or repels you about the person; you’re seeing only your own judgements and prejudices. See, instead, the perfect child of God. Perhaps with wrong thinking and prone to wrong action. But a perfect child of God nonetheless. See past the appearances and know what is true.
(4) See God in everything
Don’t take my word for it. Try it: assume God is inherent in all creation.
(5) Appreciate whatever has been created
If you appreciate what has been created, by God or man, you are appreciating the creator, whether God or man; if man is created by God, you are by extension appreciating God.
(6) Tell the truth
This will bring you closer to God. Look at page 75 of the book Alcoholics Anonymous. That suggests that after Step Five we know God better. Why? Because we have told the truth.
(7) Listen to the truth
This will heal you, as you realise you are others and they are you. You are of God. They are of God. Want to get to know God? Get to know others.
(8) Dedicate every action to God
Do what you do not for yourself or others but for God, however noble or menial—this is the fastest way to practise the presence of God.
(9) Formal prayer
Instructions for this are found on pages 86–88 of the book Alcoholics Anonymous.
(10) Formal meditation
Examples of this abound in the world's literature; within AA, the chapter on Step Eleven in the book Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions provides ample guidance.