Service gladly rendered…

Carrying the message of hope to those still suffering from depression.

“Service gladly rendered, obligations squarely met, troubles well accepted with God’s help, the knowledge that at home or in the world outside we are partners in a common effort, the fact that in God’s sight all human beings are important, the proof that love freely given brings a full return, the certainty that we are no longer isolated and alone in self constructed prisons, the surety that we can fit and belong in God’s scheme of things –these are the satisfactions of right living for which no pomp or circumstances, no heap of material possessions, could possibly substitute.” Twelve and Twelve, AA World services. Page 124.

 

Also, in The Depressed Anonymous Workbook (2002) we read

“The part about carrying the message is so important if we are to remain out of the clutches of depression. It is important to keep in touch with the newcomers and others in the program. It is in this carrying the message that reminds us that we once needed help and it was through the unselfishness of the older members of Depressed Anonymous that got us through our depression.” Page 85.

“We soon discover in the program that no compulsion can be controlled by will power alone. It must be surrendered to the Higher Power or to the care of God of our understanding. It alone can remove in time the burden from our backs. This is the spiritual awakening that keeps us free from sadness as we take the message of healing to others in the group who are new to the program. We admit that we make no promises to anyone and that there will be no magic answer and quick solutions to their saddiction.  No, it all takes time and this is the message of the group. Such slogans as: “Take it easy,” “Keep  it simple,” and “Easy does it” are all meant to help you and me to live one day at a time and continue to try and live with serenity. When we practice these steps on a daily basis, starting our day with asking the Higher Power for guidance for the rest of the day we can then be  assured of God’s presence and help in our lives.”

Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Page 106.

 

Today is all that I have.

Simple enough. All I have is this 24 hour period staring me in the face.  What to do with it? Well, for one thing I am about ready to go to my work. A few people are there waiting for me to help them with various activities.  Each day is a little different. Each day I encounter various persons with various needs.  All of my encounters  starts with a greeting and a smile. You see, I spend most of my day interacting with persons who live in a nursing facility. I know most of them by name and so I spend a little bit of time sharing with them about the day ahead as well as how their day is going.  Because of their own response to their dementia of one kind or another, and living in the moment, they assure me with their smile that they are doing OK.

The amazing characteristic of dementia is that you live in the moment. The present, as the word can denote, is truly a present from God. This is the only place I can live–in the now. Yesterday is really gone forever–can’t bring it back  (only by memory as faulty as it may become)  and tomorrow isn’t  here yet. Obviously, the only place to live is here, now, today, these next 24 hours.

Am I living in the present or is my mind onto to something I have to do tonight? Or after lunch?  I think you get the message. My thought is that when I meet a friend (resident) in the nursing home I am going to be really present to them and  have all my attention focused on the person. It is going to be an I-Thou relationship. It is as only the person that I encounter is the only person with whom my entire attention is given.  And at that moment something special takes place–two people become as one–joined together in the communicating  of a true and present relationship. Both of us are now in each others presence — in the now –fully  being the loving  person that God desires all creation to be —aware that we are all together in this. Today is all I have to make this relationship grow, in this manner, in this time, with this person.

BILL’S WAKE UP CALL! GOD TURNED ON THE LIGHT!

It was 80 years yesterday (12/11), an alcoholic named Bill Wilson was admitted to a New York hospital.

He had just celebrated his 39th birthday.

Alone in his room he cried out, “I’ll do anything, anything at all!” He described what happened next:

Suddenly, my room blazed with an indescribably white light …Then, seen in my minds eye, there was a mountain. I stood upon its summit, where a great wind blew. A wind, not of air, but of spirit. In great clean strength, it blew right through . Then came the blazing thought, “You are a free man.”

   I became acutely conscious of a presence which seemed like a sea of living spirit.  I lay on the shore  of a new world.

Wilson said that after this experience, he never again doubted the existence of God. And he never  took another drink.

Bill Wilson is the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. (C) Diocese of Saginaw Advent Book for 2014