Sunday, 5 May 2013
Do I need multiple fellowships?
I only have one problem: trying to solve my disconnection by means other than absolute surrender to God. All of the obsessions of my mind; all of the plans and designs that distort my behaviour and relationships with others; all of the other ways in which I act out to fix myself: all of these are avoidances of God, who is present in my life, right here, right now.
God is available now through love and service; I consider love to be a combination of cheerfulness and kindness; I consider service to be usefulness. If my life is dedicated to love and service, expressed in these ways, all other problems simply drop away. When the problem is solved, I no longer need my ‘solutions’, which are actually what are creating the problem in the first place.
There is only one set of Steps; there is only one God.
In my primary fellowship, I find people with all of the problems I have in all areas of my life.
Sometimes other fellowships are good places to meet and share with people with problems in particular areas; sometimes these fellowships' written materials flesh out the application of certain twelve-step principles or practical ways of handling tricky situations.
I am in trouble, however, when I shield certain problems from the God and programme I have found in AA, because ‘only the people in Al-Anon understand’, for instance. I can use multiple fellowship attendance to carve up my life and protect my sensitivities or bad behaviour. I cease viewing the single problem as a single problem with a single solution and start trying to deal with the problem at the level of its individual manifestations rather than rising above the problem and letting God simply take it away from me, trusting that whatever I experience in the process is a necessary part of healing.
I have suffered in the past by approaching recovery like a jigsaw or a supermarket with multiple counters. Treated in this way, I focus on multiple problems rather than the single solution, and the major questions never get faced:
What is so wrong with right now?
What is so wrong with this very moment?
What is so wrong with my constructive plan for the day?
How about I face this moment and the work of the day and really live Step Three, deciding to stay close to God and perform His work well, regardless of the emotional or other consequences?
Surrender to the moment heals, and I can surrender anytime, anywhere, with enough willingness. God is ubiquitous and eternal—God is everywhere, has always been, and will always be. If I cannot find God ‘here’, I will not find God ‘there’ either.
‘God-geographicals’ come in many forms: switching religions, switching sponsors, switching meetings, switching fellowships.
Ultimately, as the book ‘Alcoholics Anonymous’ suggests, it is only deep down within that He may be found (page 55).
May you find Him now (page 59)!
‘Be still and know that I am God.’