September 19: God won’t do for us what we can do for ourselves


I listen to How It Works and the Promises at all our meetings. “God could and would if He were sought” has always caught my attention. Underscore ‘if He were sought!’   But further clarification cautions,  “God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.”  Like many things I heard when I first got here, I didn’t listen all that closely, and missed the nuance in that sentence.

My getting sober came about and surely it was something I could not do for myself.  A true gift of my Higher Power. However,  for many other things in my life, it seems I just need to keep work, work, working. I am capable of doing them.  I will just have to do my part.

My sponsor used to tell me to listen very carefully to the shares of those coming back after a slip.  True, so often I’d hear, ‘Well, to be honest, I was planning that slip for a long time.’  In the same light, I’d hear from those having a hard time, “It’s a fact–once I slacked off on my daily routines, I started to think about drinking.”   My sponsor did not believe in getting ‘struck drunk’ nor getting ‘struck sober.’  We have to participate to make those things happen.

I learned God won’t do for us what we can do for ourselves.  So I can’t just slip my list of to-do’s and wishes over and get them done without raising a finger?  How will I know which are the things I can do, I am expected to do?  What are the ones I can have done for me?  You know I am an alcoholic!  The answer to that is important to me.

Once again Bill W. knew I’d ask.  It is a simple Program for complicated people.  We have the Twelve Steps!  And the Traditions. We have each other.  There you go.  Those are the aids to prepare myself to carry out the work of my Higher Power. I can get help if I need it.  And clarification is always available from my sponsor!  The rest is on my Higher Power.  Did you ever expect your Higher Power to do something He was waiting for you to do?  No?  Really? Shucks, I did!  Please feel free to share on this topic.   hgz, b. 9/21/84

Personal Postscript

In September I am a year older and gratefully, add another year of sobriety.  This year I am having a ‘do-over’ of my sober 37th year.  I never remember dates. I sense them, feel them.  In sensory overload, I may not even do that.  I recorded the wrong year I came to AA.  I just realized it.  So, I’m having a do-over.  Progress not perfection. That can’t hurt. I am a word person.  Maybe it is the number in the date that blinds me!  Love to you all!  hgz, b. 9/21/84