Friday, 21 October 2016
‘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. “How can I best serve Thee—Thy will (not mine) be done.” These are thoughts which must go with us constantly. We can exercise our will power along this line all we wish. It is the proper use of the will.’ (‘Alcoholics Anonymous’)
The AA programme is not for the faint-hearted. You have to really want it. Why would a person really want it? Because they are desperately sick of living with the emotions associated with being in self. What does being in self mean? Thinking constantly about what other people think about you, about what you think about you, about how other people are behaving, and about what you want and need and how to get it or how you’re not getting it. Fortunately, there is an alternative. Most people think that they can get away with a tiny little bit of contact with God at the beginning and end of the day and get the results of constant contact. That does not work. At any point in time, we’re either listening to God’s voice or the voice of the ego. There is no such thing as harmless empty thinking. If the problem of self is the absence of God, the absence of God without any overtly selfish, fearful, or unkind thoughts is still the absence of God. Whether or not the wasteland has monsters is entirely secondary—it’s still a wasteland, and the appearance of monsters is a matter of time.
‘But just underneath there is deadly earnestness. Faith has to work twenty-four hours a day in and through us, or we perish.’ (‘Alcoholics Anonymous’)
What this means is that if I want the results of turning to God constantly I need to turn to God constantly in my thought and to direct my action accordingly, with the sense at all times that the action is ultimately directed by and is being carried out for God.