Saturday, November 15, 2008

Step Seven

"Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings."

It would seem crazy to write a bunch about humility, wouldn't it? When the meeting topic used to be "humility" I would tell everyone that I had a series of tapes on the subject which I would be glad to sell and sign for them... ha ha.

In our beautiful big book, one of the most beautiful prayers is the Seventh Step prayer:
"My Creator, I am now willing that you should have all of me, good and bad. I pray that you now remove from me every single defect of character which stands in the way of my usefulness to You and my fellows. Grant me strength as I go out from here to do your bidding. Amen." (p.76)
There can be no self-will in this step.  We are giving our entire selves to God and asking Him to sort out what is meant to be there and what isn't.  

I heard a man at a meeting use this analogy for the Seventh Step:
Someone asked Michelangelo how he sculpted the Pieta.  To this, Michelangelo responded that he chipped away everything that didn't look like the Pieta, and he was left with the Pieta.  The Pieta, one of the most beautiful works of art I have ever seen, was inside that rock all the time, it just needed Michelangelo to reveal it.  (I got to see it at the World's Fair in New York City in 1965.)

This is probably a terrible analogy to a sculptor, but to me, it makes sense.  I let God be my sculptor.  He is able to take the huge bulky rock that was me, and chip away at the ugliness until there is a beautiful person revealed.    

I cannot will it, but I can cooperate.  And then I can be so grateful that I am not who I used to be.  For this, I cannot take credit, but I can thank God.  And I can express my gratitude forward by helping others, but that is another step.

Have a nice weekend everyone.


Pam said...

that was so excellent little pineapple

dAAve said...

And this may be why you are a rock to so many.

Gabriella Moonlight said...

Wow...thank you for the analogy. I often look at myself as a gem with rough edges and it's with God's work that I soften the edges to become a gem with clarity.

Thank you

AlkySeltzer said...

"Humbly asked God to remove..." OH! What a load was taken off my shoulders, when I finally realized that "God was doing for me what I could not do for myself." How wondrous, that He has spared me the anguish, the torment, the shameful procrastination, of getting rid of all my anti-social behaviors--because I sure could not, would not, DID not!

Thank You, God!

And thank you, Mary Christine, for taking on this service of remnding us all--me--that, which is our real Alcoholics Anonymous Program, our beautiful Twelve Steps.

After all, they were given to us, in much the same manner the Ten Commandments were delivered to those waaaay back when. There was no visible fire, shining on our gift
..only that unquenchable fire in our bodies filled with alcohol.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing your experience, strength and hope. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with the steps. I really NEED this help. You rock!

Scott W said...

That's no crappy analogy, that's beautiful example of letting go. Letting go of all the shit we have carried around and self manifested and smeared all over creation. Now that's a crappy analogy.

Lou said...

When I look at that scupture I could cry at it's beauty.

Anonymous said...

series of tapes huh; I'm so going to use that! I use to tell people that I once chaired a meeting on humility and ran it over 10 minutes!

Great analogy from Michelangelo; never thought of the seventh step that way. One thing I always like to mention when discussing the seventh step is that God does all the heavy lifting; we remain willing in the sixth. Depending on how humble I can approach my prayers in the morning (genuine and heartfelt) is generally how well I do during the day.It truly determines the quality of my sobriety. Oh, and I saw the Pieta at St. Peter's years ago and it is magnificent. Quality MC.
Dave from Maryland

AlkySeltzer said...

Never saw the Pieta f2f...and your photo of M/A' sculpture is SO relevant to so many things going on today. I have trouble being so sorrowful for so many wrongs in our world, at the same time being so HAPPY with the gifts God has bestowed on me--us!!

Findon said...

Thank you for this post. I think that 6 and 7 are the most beautiful of steps, with many hidden delights.

big Jenn said...

Still talking to The BIG GUY. Thank you. jeNN

Just Another Sober Guy said...

A very apt analogy indeed. This is something that will stick with me.

So how do I order those signed cd's? ;)