The Twelve Promises of Alcoholics Anonymous:
We will comprehend the word serenity, and we will know peace
Pages 81 and 82
It took the Twelve Steps and the continued honesty of others to finally break my denial and show me that I did not have peace. I really believed that when I was sitting quietly on the banks of the pond, listening to the birds, and sipping my six-pack, I had peace. I just didn’t bother to think about the devastation that was sitting behind me…my children scared of me, my wife wanting to leave me, my business going down the tubes. I just did a "Scarlet O’Hara"–I’ll worry about that tomorrow. For the moment, I was taken care of by my drug, and that was all that mattered. I was totally into me and my needs, and if others were being hurt, that was their problem. They just didn’t know how to lighten up like I did. Let them grab a beer, sit on the bank, let their lives go to hell, and join me! Wasn’t that what peace was all about? Just not worrying about any accountability or responsibility? Right. And it took several been a day to keep me in that frame of mind.
Paul knew the real truth. In the first chapter of Romans, he wrote, "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that were made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools" (verses 20-22).
I was a fool, and I was the only one who didn’t see it. Because I was "at peace."
When I stopped drinking, I lost my "peace." Without my drug, I could see the truth of my life. It took a lot of caring people to keep pointing out to me the truth about my life, but thank God they did. It broke my denial. I didn’t want to agree with them that it was that bad, but how could I deny it? Everything they were saying was the truth. I began to face daily the anxiety attacks and fears of who I would run into next and what would they want. The things I had kept stuffed with alcohol were now right in my face every day.
As I worked Steps 1-5, the anxiety attacks, the cold worries about who or what I was going to be facing next, started to leave. I began to see power-less was about more than just drinking. I was powerless over my past and my future. A11 I had in the present was my choice, minute by minute, to "turn it over" as we say. "Let go and let God" I had not realized that when I was hanging on to trying to force a situation into the outcome "I" desired, that was really Satan desiring by me, trying once again to usurp God’s authority, and it was sin.
It became more and more obvious to me that there was definitely a Power greater than myself. I had never been able to admit I was wrong about any-thing before, unless I could use my confession to manipulate someone into getting my way. I had never seen things so clearly from someone else’s view-point. Step 4 showed me not only how to see from another viewpoint, it taught me how critical it was to admit I was wrong. There was no way God could make me right, until I admitted I was wrong and needed to be made right. I was powerless. He had to do it.
John 14:27 explains it, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid."
Peace is a Person. Ephesians 2, verses 14 and 15 states, "For He Himself is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of division between us. Having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances; so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace."
When my feelings are yelling, "What’s the use, you can’t change, you’ll never be any different," I can tell them (really Satan tempting me to believe his lie), "I don’t have to change. Christ is my change." That’s my peace in the midst of the storm.
Anonymity is a fundamental tradition in M. However, the writer welcomes anyquestions or comments, which may be sent to the magazine office.
More Articles from The Intercessor, Vol 11 No 3
- The Deep Things of God
- Editor’s Note
- Moments with Meryl
- Annual Business Meeting
- The Single Eye
- Prayer Without Works
- The Letter to the Romans
- Birmingham Fellowship Weekend
- British Easter Conference
- Questions & Answers
- My Dark Hidden Secret
- New Light on the Twelve Steps
- God’s Promises
- A Look at a Book
- The Mailbox
- Tape Talk
- Words to Live By