What are these “first things” which I must consider?
Upon reflection of my days in Alcoholics Anonymous, so many things seem to have been of tremendous importance, but what I hope to do is give some prominence to those things that I considered were necessary firstly to get me sober, and then to keep me sober.
The cliche “First Things First” is very familiar to any member of AA. We all know that individual needs vary and that there cannot be one prescription for everybody, but we also know that the advice to put “First Things First” is something we all had to do in order to sort out our lives and make an initial effort to gain sobriety.
Honesty Humility, Sincerity – these were magic first things for me for once I began to make even a small effort to strive for them so I began to know myself’ to admit that my problem was alcoholism to accept myself and to look towards some Power outside myself for help. This is where I began in A A – these were “First Things First.”
All things necessary for sobriety must come first, and this means that the principles we learn in AA must be paramount in our thinking and in our living. Sobriety is the most important and most precious thing we have’ for without it’ we can be of little help to anyone in any circumstances.
In the beginning particularly, our energies are directed to acquiring a knowledge of the principles of AA and to keeping them constantly in mind. What then becomes more and more important is to keep our minds supplied with motives for persevering. We do this by frequently taking a personal inventory of ourselves, and checking for any distortion of our sense of values or of our perspective of “First Things First.”
Love our fellow men by all means, but love God first, for didn’t He guide our footsteps to the pathway of sobriety and restore us to sanity? We can never forget how hard we tried to fight the demon, alcohol alone. Take the third step each morning and turn your life and your will over to God’s care quietly saying “Thy will be done.” This is the key to the whole of our spiritual life and we need this principle in our daily living so “First Things First”
If you are invited to a party and if you’re not sure you can stay away from that first drink ask yourself this simple question “Where do I find my sobriety – at a meeting with my fellow alcoholics or at the party I’ve been invited to?” By all means go to the party but go to your meeting first or if there is no meeting -read part of the Big Book or call your sponsor and be sure you are on sound spiritual ground, Cultivate “First Things First.”
If we take this wise counsel and learn to put “First Things First,” we can think and live without conflict. It is when we let other everyday contacts and problems crowd out its importance that disorder, unhappiness, frustration and mental turmoil creep in and make life burdensome and unhappy We cannot tolerate conflict and stay sober but conflict disappear when we put “First Things First”
This principle is one of the age-old truths we always knew but seldom used in our practising alcoholic days’ but when we restore the “First Things First” in our daily lives, we know a measure of peace and contentment and can face up to God’s will and to the realities of life, l did.