Category Archives: Reflection

Bend with the Wind

Bend with the wind

Page 265.
“We learn to become flexible.. As new things are revealed, we feel renewed.”

Bend with the Wind Fred Rogers
Bend with the Wind Fred Rogers

Basic Text, p.102.
“Flexibility” was not a part of the vocabulary we used in our using days. We would become obsessed with the raw pleasure of our drugs and hardened to all the softer, subtler, more infinitely varied pleasures of the world around us. Our disease turned life itself into a constant threat of jails, institutions, and death, a threat against which we hardened ourselves all the more. In the end we became brittle. With the merest breath of life’s wind we crumbled at last, broken, defeated, with no choice but to surrender.

But the beautiful irony of recovery is that, in our surrender, we found the flexibility we had lost in our addiction, the very lack of which had defeated us. We regained the ability to bend in life’s breeze without breaking. When the wind blew, we felt its loving caress against our skin, where once we would have hardened ourselves as if against the onrush of a storm.

The winds of life blow new airs our way each moment, and with them new fragrances, new pleasures, varied, subtly different. As we bend with life’s wind, we feel and hear and touch and smell and taste all it has to offer us. And as new winds blow, we feel renewed.

Just for Today: Higher Power, help me bend with life’s wind and glory in its passing. Free me from rigidity.  – (c) 2015 NA World Services.

Blowin in the Wind
Bob Dylan (1962).
performed by Peter Paul and Mary

How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
How many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
Yes, and how many times must the cannon balls fly
Before they’re forever banned?
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind.

“Blowin in the Wind” poses a series of rhetorical questions about peace, war and freedom. The refrain “The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind” has been described as “impenetrably ambiguous: either the answer is so obvious it is right in your face, or the answer is as intangible as the wind”.

Bring the Message Home

Bring the Message Home

Can we bring the same Spirit of Love and Tolerance into our sometimes deranged family lives that we bring to our A.A. group? – TWELVE STEPS AND TWELVE TRADITIONS, pp.111-12.

Practice Spirit of Love and Tolerance
Practice Spirit of Love and Tolerance

My family members suffer from the effects of my disease. Loving and accepting them as they are just as I love and accept A.A. members fosters a return of love, tolerance and harmony to my life. Using common courtesy and respecting others’ personal boundaries are necessary practices for all areas of my life. – Daily Reflections. © 1990 Alcoholics Anonymous A.A. World Services.

Acceptance is the Key to Serenity.

Turn Turn Turn
Pete Seeger (1965).
performed by The Byrds

To everything, turn, turn, turn.
There is a season, turn, turn, turn.
And a time to every purpose under heaven.
A time to be born, a time to die.
A time to plant, a time to reap.
A time to kill, a time to heal.
A time to laugh, a time to weep.

To everything, turn, turn, turn.
There is a season, turn, turn, turn.
And a time to every purpose under heaven.
A time to build up, a time to break down.
A time to dance, a time to mourn.
A time to cast away stones.
A time to gather stones together.

Pete Seeger wrote this song inspired by the Book of Ecclesiastes in the 1950s. The storyline in the Book of Ecclesiastes has moved many religious leaders as a contemplative inward self-reflecting theme. The Book of Ecclesiastes centers on King Solomon who relates to many experiences we may all relate to in life.

Who is Watching

Who Is Watching

No matter where the athletes of the 2016 Olympics go in the city of Rio de Janeiro, they can see Jesus. Standing high above this Brazilian city and anchored to a 2,310-foot-high mountain called Corcovado is a 100-foot-tall sculpture called Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer). With arms spread wide, this massive figure is visible day and night from almost anywhere in the sprawling city.

Rio Christ
Rio Christ

As comforting as this iconic concrete and soapstone sculpture may be to all who can look up and see it, there is much greater comfort from this reality: the real Jesus sees us. In Psalm 34, David explained it like this: “The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry.” Ps. 34:15. He noted that when the righteous call out for His help, The Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Ps. 34:17–18.

God oversees our lives, and He hears the cries of those who trust Him.
Just who are the righteous? Those of us who place our trust in Jesus Christ, who Himself is our righteousness. 1 Cor. 1:30. Our God oversees our lives, and He hears the cries of those who trust Him. He is near to help in our greatest times of need.

Jesus has His eyes on you. – Dave Brannon. Daily Bread.

Sometimes, Lord, life seems out of control and I don’t know exactly which direction to take. Thank You for overseeing my life and prompting me in the right way through Your Word and Your Spirit.
The Lord never lets us out of His sight.
As a lone fugitive running from the jealous king Saul (1 Sam. 19:1–12), David took refuge in the Philistine territory of Gath. Not only was it a foolish thing to do, it was also very dangerous. Gath was the hometown of Goliath. 1 Sam. 17:4, 23. When the Philistines discovered he was the same David who had slain their champion Goliath (1 Sam. 18:6–7), they captured him. 1 Sam. 21:11–15. Aware that his life was in danger, David feigned insanity, foaming at the mouth as a sign of derangement. 1 Sam. 21:13. The ploy succeeded. David was released, and he made his escape. In response to God’s deliverance, David wrote Psalm 34 celebrating the God who answers prayers. I sought the Lord, and he answered me. Ps. 34:4.

 

Watching You
Rodney Atkins

Driving through town, just my boy and me
With a Happy Meal in his booster seat
Knowing that he couldn’t have the toy ’til his nuggets were gone.

A green traffic light turned straight to red
I hit my brakes and mumbled under my breath
His fries went a-flying and his orange drink covered his lap.

Well, then my four-year-old said a four letter word
That started with “s” and I was concerned
So I said, “Son, now where’d you learn to talk like that?”

Freedom from Guilt

Freedom from guilt

Page 223. N.A. Big Book.

“Our addiction enslaved us. We were prisoners of our own mind and were condemned by our own guilt.”

N.A. Basic Text, p. 7.

Guilt is one of the most commonly encountered stumbling blocks in recovery. One of the more notorious forms of guilt is the self-loathing that results when we try to forgive ourselves but don’t feel forgiven.

Sorrow
Sorrow

How can we forgive ourselves so we feel it? First, we remember that guilt and failure are not links in an unbreakable chain. Honestly sharing with a sponsor and with other addicts shows this to be true. Often the result of such sharing is a more sensible awareness of the part we ourselves have played in our affairs. Sometimes we realize that our expectations have been too high. We increase our willingness to participate in the solutions rather than dwelling on the problems.

Somewhere along the way, we discover who we really are. We usually find that we are neither the totally perfect nor the totally imperfect beings we have imagined ourselves to be. We need not live up to or down to our illusions; we need only live in reality.

Just for Today: I am grateful for my assets and accept my liabilities. Through willingness and humility, I am freed to progress in my recovery and achieve freedom from guilt. – (c) 2015 NA World Services

Guilty
NewsBoys
God’s Not Dead

When did it become breaking a rule
To say Your name out loud in school
When Your name is the only one that sets us free
When did it become incorrect
To speak the truth about life and death
When Your life gave us all eternity.

Even if it gets me convicted
I’ll be on my knees with my hands lifted.