We are not saints the point is we become willing to grow along Spiritual lines
Two very pertinent statements in the Alcoholics Anonymous Big Book are “We are not saints the point is we become willing to grow along Spiritual lines,” and “We have entered the world of the Spirit. Our job is to grow in strength and understanding.
“Growing along Spiritual lines, with all its attendant times of struggle’ is a necessary part of recovery from alcoholism, without which the best we could hope for would be a type of dry sobriety, often never far from frequent emotional entanglements.
Perhaps this may be incorrect in the case of every recovered alcoholic, but there is sufficient evidence in A.A of the difference between “Spiritual” and “Dry” sobriety and of our own experiences with both.
I may have proved to be something of a nuisance amongst fellow members during the years of my sobriety’ by my tendency to want -to dwell upon Spiritual matters rather than the drinking aspects In most cases, AA meetings are more in the nature of drinking stories, with short references at the end to entering AA finding a personal Higher Power, and what followed thereafter of this, I have no criticism, I am but one small part of a great fellowship of alcoholics who have been given the unique gift of a life of personal hell to offer to another suffering human’ in order to aid his, or her recovery.
This is also a necessary part of our own recovery, as we give of ourselves, through our drinking “histories,” in order to keep our own sobriety.
This is trying to carry the message where growth along Spiritual lines is concerned, is in the sharing of experience, strength and hope, I translate this as meaning the members who share with others the evidence of the Spiritual Power that has transformed’ and continues to transform their lives I find these occasions to be amongst the most uplifting in AA association. Some may use words in accordance with their particular religious beliefs and teachings, whilst others, by the simple statement that, “Too many things have happened to be mere coincidence” carry the same Spiritual import.
Struggle hardship and reversal, both inward and outward are to be expected in our continuing efforts to charge ourselves, There can never be gain without pain even though we often hear the remark that the program is as hard or as easy as we make it, This is fine during the transition from drunkenness to sobriety when we enter into an undreamed of world that we could never have envisioned, with all its hopes and possibilities, encouraged by the friendship and understanding of others in AA but when we fall off our “pink cloud” back into solid reality we are at the beginning of the realization that our help from here on must always come from a Power greater than ourselves, lest we again “rest on our laurels,’ Alcoholism, the threefold illness, is indeed a subtle foe in the way it continues to try to reassert itself through the personality disorders we continue to try to correct. An AA member trying to remake his life and grow along Spiritual lines would be unaware of the persistence of these subtle problems and of the continuing necessity of the AA. program to offset them,
If certain times of struggle hardship and reversal are to be expected, then also to be expected are the times of serenity and content that arise from the conviction that it was (and is) all worthwhile as well as necessary for growth. As it applies to my own hopes for permanent sobriety this means-that I must retain the need to recognize the equal importance of trying to carry the message sharing experience strength and hope and of “practising these principles in all of our affairs,” AA advises “Keep it simple,” so the answer as I see it, is in the words, “Thy Will, not mine, be done” and the richness in meaning of the Serenity Prayer, From these simple words can be drawn much beneficial meditation to help us to maintain the AA. attitudes of courage, perseverance, acceptance, love, tolerance, goodwill and a true and lasting humility,
May I conclude with the observation that those who have not only sought and found AA but have stayed, are evidence of “the tremendous fact that each one has gained access to and believes in, a Power greater than himself, more importantly “They are not saints the point is, they have become willing to grow along Spiritual lines,” God in His Love, has permitted me to be one of them.