The Twelve Promises

AA has lots of 12’s in it!  Steps, traditions, concepts and so on.  Sitting here on this quiet Friday night…Dawn and I on our Macs, both shelties sleeping soundly as the rain falls outside…I can’t help but be grateful for the life I’ve had for the past 1735 days.  Recovery is my life now, and my greatest satisfaction — even greater than ministry — is working with other alcoholics!

I remember when I first got sober.  How difficult it was.  I wanted it more than anything.  As I worked through the steps the first time with my sponsor Harry, he constantly reminded me that AA was a program of rigorous honesty.  That was tough…sorting through the lies that my life had become!  Being a cynic at heart, I read the 12 Promises every day.  I committed them to memory.  I clung to them.  Most of them have come true…I say “most” because my finances are precarious…and as I walk in the Sunlight of the Spirit today, I smile, confident that AA works and that as long as I keep myself spiritually fit I don’t have to have that first drink.

There is much gratitude in being able to sit down with a new AA, look them in they eye and say, “I understand…and I know you can do this, one day at a time, like I did.”  My words are insufficient, though, in explaining how good life can become…through the fellowship…so I always point out the promises:

“If we are painstaking about this phase of our development,
we will be amazed before we are half way
through. We are going to know a new freedom and a
new happiness. We will not regret the past nor wish
to shut the door on it. We will comprehend the word serenity and we will
know peace. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see
how our experience can benefit others. That feeling of uselessness and
selfpity will disappear. We will lose interest in selfish things
and gain interest in our fellows. Self-seeking will slip away.
Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change. Fear
of people and of economic insecurity will leave us. We will
intuitively know how to handle situations which used to
baffle us. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us
what we could not do for ourselves.  Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They
are being fulfilled among us—sometimes quickly, sometimes
slowly. They will always materialize if we work
for them.”

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