Thanks Layne. I couldn't have said it any better.
Layne wrote:Every time I have been to an AA meeting, the twelve steps are read near the beginning of the meeting. So basically a person at their very first meeting gets introduced to the concept of needing a higher power. It gets reiterated at every meeting and through the shares of some members as we go along, just not through the shares of everyone every time.
I've had an incremental spiritual awakening, little at a time. If I'd have got it all at once my mind couldn't have grasped it. So to this day I continue to get it a little at a time like UHH! UHH! UHH! But those little bits warm my heart and help me grow a little more.
My buddy from Long Beach and I were talking with each other before an upcoming breakfast meeting we both spoke at. It was listed in that mornings program as "Spiritual Meeting". I love this man, his experience, his wisdom, his humor and his strength. I have asked him for advice in the past and out comes his wisdom, instantly. Before the Sunday Morning "Spiritual Meeting" I said to him "They're calling this a Spiritual Meeting. There's just something about it I can't quite put my finger on. Oh it's not bad, it's not even a big deal, just ... hmmm can't think of the word."
He replied "It's Spiritual".
I said "Huh?"
He said "Spiritual. That's the word that's got you bugged. They're calling this a Spiritual Meeting. So when you introduce yourself just say 'It say's in this mornings program this is a Spiritual Meeting but AA is all Spiritual. All of it'. AA, Al-Anon, Alateen. It's all spiritual."
He went on with "Didn't Papa tell us both that AA is one of God's Agencies because that's what Bill told him?"
I said "Yes! How'd you know that was it for me?"
He said he had gone through the exact same thing years before at a convention at a Spiritual Meeting he spoke at and he was just telling me what worked for him.
He spoke after I did. He focused on the disease and the obsession of the mind and the physical compulsion of alcohol. He talked about the first drink. He said "When I drank, I took a drink, the drink took a drink, then the drink took me". He always makes an interesting point.
I want to share one more thing on the boards here then I'll quit my yacking. I sponsor a few guys and we meet in my home twice a week. Over the following months we go through the Big Book cover to cover in my home. We also go through our Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions book cover to cover, over and over so the message becomes ingrained into their thoughts and the actions they take, so when they're out there the teachings in our Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions will come to mind when they are faced with a decision or situation. It's not about remembering the words to repeat at a meeting. I make a strict point of that right from the beginning about if they start repeating those words from their memory to impress someone, they'll lose the entire meaning of it all and lose the spiritual message in them. It's about our personal growth and development. It's about taking ACTIONS to change our old behaviors and old ideas. In short order those ACTIONS become a habit, then they become part of who we are, then they become a way of life. I talk with them, never at them. All my guys pray honestly from their hearts in their own words, not from something they read off a wall calendar. We share 2 times a week in my home about how we applied the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions and the Big Book teachings in our lives since we last met.
The changes are gradual in increments.
Well, that's my take on it