Friday, August 15, 2014

Show Me the A.A. Winners!

When I had been involved in A.A. as a wet newcomer, for just a few days, I had a sponsor who possibly knew less about the Big Book, the Steps, the History, the Bible, and Withdrawal than most I have since met.

He took me to two or three speaker-discussion meetings; and I didn't know what to expect.

Shortly I realized we were listening to moaners--people who told us what  they were like, and did so on and on. I heard no talk of Big Book, Steps, God, History, Bible, or Withdrawal. Just talk and talk and talk by the speakers of what they were like! To the point where you soon realized you didn't want what they had.  And, before long, I was very clear that they possibly were still what they were like. Certainly not conveying any experience or hope that made me feel good about prospects as an A.A

I said to my sponsor: "Can't we go to a meeting where the speaker is talking about how God had relieved him of his alcoholism?" "Where the speaker was not showing how sick and miserable he was, but not how helpful A.A. and reliance on God could be?" I wanted to hear a winner! I wanted to hear talk of victory! I wanted to hear that there was a way out of the mess I was in. And I was not listening to such messages.

Very soon, I realized you had to have a sponsor who was a winner and who knew which speakers would be talking about "what we are like now." Meaning, "I am well!" Meaning how he got well. Meaning what life was like, where victory was present when and where there  was  full bore involvement in A.A., full bore reliance on God for help, and full bore determination to do whatever it took to be cured. And for many years, I steered my new sponsees in a direction that would answer those points.

The suggestion? Choose your sponsors carefully. You need a life saver, not a drowning companion.  Choose your meetings carefully. Choose your speakers carefully. And show me the winners! People don't go to football games to see teams that have an unblemished record of failure after failure. Show me the winners! Stick with the winners! Introduce newcomers to those you know are winners!

Winners are leaping in the direction of success and helping others every step of the way.

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