It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath:
it is twice blest;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:
Shakespeare, "Merchant of Venice"
GIFTS AND GRANTS
Admittedly,the following is simply my opinion on the topic of granting, gifting, earning and deserving.
Each day I say our shortened Serenity Prayer (more than once!):
God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.
In asking God to 'grant' me this serenity, I am asking for an outright gift with no strings. I'm not asking for something for which I've worked. I'm not asking for something which I deserve. I am simply asking God to bestow on me a gift, for which I will not be required to pay a price.
The same for Courage, the same for Wisdom. I am not aware of a college degree in "Wisdom", or "Courage". I am not talking about the Land of Oz here. I cannot "earn" Wisdom, Courage, or Serenity. Certainly I have done nothing to "deserve" these free gifts.
The same is so with my sobriety. Having the obsession for alcohol lifted from me was a gift--but such a wonderful miracle of a gift! I did not earn it, I do not deserve it. It was given me by God, and I did take it, for a gift IS twice blest--in him who gives and him who receives. Without two parts, a giver and a receiver, there is naught but a non-gift.
I believe God offers this gift--and similar ones--to many--not all--of us. Shamefully, so few reach out and take it from their Higher Power. If God is capable of sadness (and I believe He is), I'm sure many God-tears are spilt over drunks who, in essence, refuse the gift, so freely given.
I guess one point I wish to make--and have not made here--is that we who have stayed sober for many years have truly been "chosen" to embark on this highway of sobriety and spirituality. And to a greater or lesser extent we have cooperated with God, in working our program.
There are many who had not nor have not the opportunity for a sober life which I enjoy, which I accepted.
My great sadness is for those who HAVE been given this gift, and who have simply refused to follow the path so well laid out in our Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous.
In Gratitude then, at home or away from home, I try to carry the message of God's Great Gift to others who are still suffering--some new to our program, others many months or years sober. Length of sobriety does not insure against suffering. Working with others DOES!
Ya know I never once had the thought that I deserved sobriety, or that I earned it. At age 43, I "earned" a Master's Degree, and boy--earned--THAT'S the truth! I only wish that my degree could have been been in Wisdom, Courage, and Serenity. But I am using those gifts now, not at their potential, of course. That reminds me:
When I die...my tombstone should read; HERE LIES STEVE--HE HAD GREAT POTENTIAL 1933-2035.
Tibet has an average elevation of 16,000 feet. It is not a likely candidate for a tidal wave. But ya never know--fossils of sea creatures have been found there in the rocks. It was under water at one time.
Parts of "Trivia" are taken from L.M. Boyd's "Curiosity Shop"
I gotta move on, but not before wishing for you all Peace, and extending to all you bloggers, "my real friends"...Love.