Many of us said to our Maker, as we understood Him: " God, I offer myself to Thee- to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that i may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love and Thy Way of Life. May I do Thy will always." We thought well before taking this step making sure we were ready; that we could at last abandon ourselves utterly to Him.
Our liquor was but a symptom. So we had to get down to causes and conditions.
Resentment is the " number one " offender. It destroys more alcoholics than anything else.
If we were to live, we had to be free of anger.
We realized that the people who wronged us were perhaps spiritually sick. Though we did not like their symptoms and the way these disturbed us, they, like ourselves, were sick too.
We asked God to help us show them the same tolerance, pity, and patience that we would cheerfully grant a sick friend.
When a person offended we said to ourselves, "This is a sick man. How can i be helpful to him? God save me from being angry. Thy will be done."
We avoid retaliation or argument. We wouldn't treat sick people that way. If we do, we destroy our chance of being helpful. We cannot be helpful to all people, but at least God will show us how to take a kindly and tolerant view of each and every one.
Sometimes we think fear ought to be classed with stealing. It seems to cause more trouble.
Perhaps there is a better way - we think so. For we are now on a different basis; the basis of trusting and relying upon God. We trust infinite God rather than our finite selves. We are in the world to play the role he assigns. Just to the extent that we do as we think he would have us, and humbly rely on him, does he enable us to match calamity with serenity. We ask him to remove our fear and direct our attention to what he would have us be. At once, we commence to outgrow fear.
We subjected each relation to this test - was it selfish or not ? We asked God to mold our ideals and help us to live up to them. Whatever our ideals turn out to be, we must be willing to grow toward it. In meditation, we ask God what we should do about each specific matter. The right answer will come, if we want it.
We have emphasized willingness as being indispensable. Are we now ready to let God remove from us all the things which we have admitted are objectionable? Can He now take them all - every one. If we still cling to something we will not let go, we ask God to help us be willing.
When ready, we say something like this: "My Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to you and my fellows. Grant me strength, as I go out from here to do your bidding. Amen"
We have a list of all persons we have harmed and to whom we are willing to make amends. We made it when we took inventory. We subjected ourselves to a drastic self-appraisal. Now we go out to our fellows and repair the damage done in the past. If we haven't the will to do this, we ask until it comes.
Before taking drastic action which might implicate other people we secure their consent. If we have obtained permission, have consulted with others, asked God to help and the drastic step is indicated we must not shrink.
He saw that he must place the outcome in GOD's hands or he would soon start drinking again, and all would be lost anyhow.
So we clean house with the family, asking each morning in meditation that our Creator show us the way of patience, tolerance, kindliness and love.
The spiritual life is not a theory. We have to live it.
Unless one's family expresses a desire to live upon spiritual principles we think we ought not to urge them. We should not talk incessantly to them about spiritual matters. Our behavior will convince them more than our words.
Our next function is to grow in understanding and effectiveness. This is not an overnight matter. It should continue for a lifetime. Continue to watch for selfishness, dishonesty, resentment and fear. When these crop up, we ask GOD at once to remove them. We discuss them with someone immediately and make amends quickly if we have harmed anyone. Then we resolutely turn our thoughts to someone we can help. Love and tolerance of others is our code.
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. "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.
Our book is meant to be suggestive only. We realize we know only a little. God will constantly disclose more to you and to us. Ask Him in your morning meditation what you can do for the man or woman who is still sick. The answers will come, if your own house is in order. But obviously you cannot transmit something you haven't got. See to it that your relationship with God is right,and great events will come to pass for you and countless others. This is the Great Fact for us.
Abandon yourself to God as you understand God. Admit your faults to him and to your fellows. Clear away the wreckage of your past. Give freely of what you find and join us. We shall be with you in the fellowship of the Spirit, and you will surely meet some of us as you trudge the Road of Happy Destiny.
May God bless you and keep you - until then.