Friday, August 07, 2009

Let's just get this straight...

I am not trying to pick on anyone, but I think it is important...

I wrote about my 25 years of sobriety yesterday and got the predictable "accomplishment" comment. Which, I need to add, is probably understandable coming from someone with little knowledge of our program. But! This is part of the reason I have made a practice of not regularly mentioning how long I have been sober.

My sobriety is not an accomplishment. It is a gift from God. I could not accomplish this with all of my considerable talents, hard work, and intelligence. Not in this lifetime. Never. It is not a transaction. I do not put forth x amount of effort and get x amount of sobriety.

I get people upset when I talk like this. I understand that people are happy to be sober and feel that they have contributed largely to this by their attendance at meetings, working steps, working in service, and working with other alcoholics. I understand. We do need to do those things. This "work" is largely about ego deflation, which makes it possible for God to be present in our lives.

I am so grateful for this life I have been given. You could make a case that I have "worked" hard for it, but if you take it apart, piece by piece, you will find that it makes no sense. The whole is so much greater than the sum of the parts that it is incredible.

God's grace is not a formula. It is not calculable. It is real, it is tangible, but not quantifiable.

I am so incredibly grateful.

9 comments:

Mike Golch said...

turer words were never spoken and or writen.

Brother Frankie said...

mary,
you sound like one of those sinners,

you know the kind,
the ones saved by grace, \
not of works less they might get a swelled head..

there goes the neighborhood..

You are Loved
Brother Frankie
A Biker for Christ

Pam said...

Oh Mary, remember the "old days" when you could not go to a meeting without hearing the words "ego-deflation?"
Grace and Mercy girl....ain't it the truth???

Madison said...

Wow. I'm not sure what you think I meant by the use of the word 'accomplishment'. The use of this word was not meant to offend you. So, let me rephrase - I'm most grateful that there are examples that a long, sober life is possible and that you freely express this for those without much hope. Frankly, I consider getting out of bed an accomplishment some days.

Madison said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lou said...

Someone was telling me they had counted their blessings in the morning..
I said I have so many blessings, I have to set aside a large chunk of time to count them all!

MW said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing from your heart.

You had made a comment on my Aunt's blog (Joy Spicer, Artist), and I was curious to see who showed such loving appreciation for her art. So, I clicked on your blog, and lo' and behold, I saw that you are A Friend of Bill's too.

I don't know where I am going with this other than to say you give me hope.

Thank you!

Ed G. said...

Amen...

I marvel...

Blessings and aloha...

Syd said...

I am grateful for a lot these days. And I agree that the many pieces separately would not make it possible. It is the summing up of it all that is the miracle.