Monday, November 2, 2009

Monday Morning, Thank God

I'm at the keyboard before sun-up, already thinking about the 9 a.m. business meeting of my home group. The group is a women's Big Book study.

It may well be a contentious meeting, rife with little confrontations between members. There are some young AAs who want to "straighten us out" because we're not doing something right.
Last month's meeting was really rambunctious. Young AAs who hate confrontation got nervous and upset. Others are very vocal and opinionated. Thank God for the old-timers who sat quietly and spoke reasonably, setting the meeting back on track.

I've been in AA since 1990, and most business meetings follow the same sort of pattern. What I really enjoy about them is watching the process of a loving God expressing Himself in our group conscience.

No matter how much rabble-rousing individual members may create, the group conscience takes precedence. Sanity and love really does govern the group, thanks to those members who continually remind us of our primary purpose.

I don't like to see young AAs upset, so I've made it my job to reassure and encourage. The clash of opinions just reflects our individuality and our imperfections. This is the nature of a group of drunks. But we have an ultimate authority and traditions to keep us in check, and no single person's opinion governs us.

This Big Book Study has grown over the years from eight to 20 women, and it's a haven for several newcomers who are racking up sober time...90 days, six months, nine months, a year.

It's been a blessing to all of us, a safe place to get real and unburden our hearts. No clamorous business meeting changes that truth.

So this morning, I'm grateful for:

* Old-timers who faithfully attend meetings and lend their experience, strength and hope to all of us.

* God as we understand Him, expressing Himself in our group conscience.

* Mild Monday morning temperatures, so my hands aren't like ice as I work at my desk.

* The sun peeking over the horizon and shining in my eyes.

* The power of living in the present, being present right now, acting on purpose instead of on instincts gone awry.

* A good cup of coffee in the morning.

* A hot shower in my own private bathroom.

* The wealth of sobriety.

* The person who told me, "Yesterday's history, tomorrow's a mystery, and today is a gift; that's why we call it the present."


Scott W said...

I have only attended a few business meetings. They are superb in bringing out character defects. Same for sitting on the board of anything; clubhouse, HOA, you name it.

Monkey Man said...

Tell me....what defines an "old timer"?

Steve E. said...

What really stood out to me in your excellent post was the last lines:

"This Big Book Study has grown over the years from eight to 20 women, and it's a haven for several newcomers.."

THAT's what we're about!!! And also the COFFEE, except mine is all day long, ya know? it's called craving a drug.

Tall Kay said...

This is such a beautiful example of how A.A. continues to work. I've been in those meetings...wanting to crawl under the table when someone raised their voice...and watching how God teaches us lessons in love and tolerance. I love watching the Traditions in action!

Julie said...

Hello and thanks so much for your kind words at my site. I'm looking around, and the first thing that struck me was your beautiful header picture. Then I see that you are a photographer. That is awesome.

I love all of your things to be thankful for. The sun, the coffee, and all those seemingly "little" things that make life beautiful. They're not really little, but people sometimes take them for granted. And I love:

"The power of living in the present, being present right now, acting on purpose instead of on instincts gone awry."

It's very nice to meet you!

Karen said...

Hope it went well for all.

vicariousrising said...

I was secretary of our group for awhile -- and also one of the newer members of AA. I found the whole business meeting process kind of interesting.

It's nice to know there are people out there like you being reassuring. I think the group conscience usually does prevail in being loving and even-handed. It can be tough on the newer members who only hear the raucous dissent and not realize the calm undertone is still running smoothly. When we are new, everything is a raw nerve. We need people like you reassuring them that it's not all that surface chaos.

the walking man said...

I am thankful that I am thankful for not being in a group formalized with all of it's internal push and pull.

Good for some but not for me. It is easier to walk alone through the valley of not normal.

Shadow said...

aaaah, today is a gift. i love that. good luck and i hope the meeting ran smoothly...

Lou said...

I agree that group conscience meetings have a way of calmly coming to matter how differing the opinions. Isin't it great!!

enchantedoak said...

Postscript on the meeting: Wow. It was calm. Well run. Opinions opined, group conscience taken, altogether very good. See? I expected contention, and unexpectedly found peace. Better to have no expectations, but still was pleasantly surprised.

Syd said...

I agree with Scott. Business meetings can bring out the character defects. I see the controlling behavior rearing its head.But the traditions do bring each of us back to reality.
I'm grateful to read your writing.