This past Sunday we heard about the storm on the Sea of Galilee. It brought back memories of our own storm during our drinking days and nights.
“That day as evening drew on Jesus said to them; let us cross over to the farther shore. Leaving the crowd, they took him away in the boat in which he was sitting, while the other boats accompanied him. It happened that a bad squall blew up. The waves were breaking over the boat and it began to ship water badly. Jesus was in the stern through it all, sound asleep on a cushion. They finally woke him and said to him, teacher, does it not matter to you that we are going to drown? He awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea: Quiet! Be still! The wind fell off and everything grew calm. Then he said to them, why are you so terrified? Why are you lacking in faith? A great awe overcame them at this. They kept saying to one another, who can this be that the wind and the sea obey him?” Mark 4: 35-41
Having been in the eye of the alcoholic storm, each one of us can readily see how we were saved from total destruction. Only when we reached out in absolute faith to our God for help did we find that the storm was calmed. In fact, the storm disappeared altogether!
It is good for us now and again to reflect on what it was like before sobriety and what it is like now. Doing so, our heart will rise up in great gratitude to our God.
One of the most striking examples of gratitude was written by the founder of Guest House. I quote it below for you to ponder.
“I believe the one imperative to happy, permanent, effective sobriety for any AA member is the simple virtue of gratitude. Gratitude is the memory of the heart—that quality which enables a man to double his fortune by sharing it with his brother. It is the golden tray on which we give to man the things we have received from God.
The measure of a good AA lies not in what he knows but what he does. Not in how he thinks but what he feels. The assessment of a good AA is made not in the brilliance of his mind but in the charity of his heart. His stature is not gauged by how high he will reach to receive but how low he will stoop to serve.
A good AA is thankful not only for what he has got but he is grateful for what he can give. He strives not for cleverness but for wisdom. He would rather be right than popular. A good AA uses not the toughness of his mind but the gentleness of his touch in bringing hope to the sick alcoholic. For he knows that if ever the lamp of his charity burns dim, the light of another alcoholic may go out forever.
We who when we came into AA were not trusted by man in the most trivial affairs of life, now are trusted by God in one of the most important missions on earth—trusted by him to preserve and pass on this mighty miracle of sobriety to the alcoholic who still suffers.”
Austin Ripley, 1896-1974, Founder of Guest House Inc.