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."