Endigar 505 ~ A “Design for Living”

From Today’s Daily Reflections;

We in our turn, sought the same escape with all the desperation of drowning men. What seemed at first a flimsy reed, has proved to be the loving and powerful hand of God.  A new life has been given us or, if you prefer, “a design for living” that really works.   (Alcoholics Anonymous, page 28)

I try each day to raise my heart and hands in thanks to God for showing me a “design for living” that really works through our beautiful Fellowship. But what, exactly, is this “design for living” that “really works”? For me, it is the practice of the Twelve Steps to the best of my ability, the continued awareness of a God who loves me unconditionally, and the hope that, in each new day, there is a purpose for my being. I am truly, truly blessed in the Fellowship.



spectrum of recovery

I have struggled with today’s daily reflections.  I feel too critical of the contributor.  What is it that disturbs me so?  I walked away and attended a meeting.  I have been working to adjust my perspective so that I could harvest the spirit hidden from me in this recovery meditation.

Process?  Desperation led to willingness to grasp what appeared to be flimsy reed, and the persistent messy clinging of alcoholics responding as drowning men gain experiential evidence of the loving and powerful presence of God.  Why would I prefer the phrase “a design for living” rather than just saying I have been given a new life?  If a functioning design for living is synonymous with a new life, what does it matter?  Neither phrase takes away from the assertion that Gomu (God of my understanding) has given it to me.  It is a process from desperation to faith.  Maybe it is because a design sounds more pragmatic and less like a fantasy of magic.

The contributor seems to be at the faith end of this spectrum and talks about daily rituals to express gratitude for a pragmatic spirituality (design for living that works) and sees beauty in the Fellowship.  When attempting to explain what this new life is that has been given by a powerful and loving God, it becomes an intertwining of personal experience (“for me”) and the shared system of the Twelve Steps.  Again there are declarations of the faith of one who is recovered from a “hopeless state of mind and body”  (Alcoholics Anonymous, page xiii) in reveling in the awareness of God and unconditional love, hope for a daily expression of personal purpose, and being blessed in union with the Fellowship.

Maybe what has been disturbing to me is that I am somewhere between drowning man desperation and the faith of the recovered when I look at my own relationship with this design for living.  I do trust the process.  I trust Gomu, for the most part.  It is me that I have second thoughts about.

“And we have ceased fighting anything or anyone-even alcohol. For by this time sanity will have returned. We will seldom be interested in liquor. If tempted, we recoil from it as from a hot flame. We react sanely and normally, and we will find that this has happened automatically. We will see that our new attitude toward liquor has been given us without any thought or effort on our part. It just comes! That is the miracle of it. We are not fighting it, neither are we avoiding temptation. We feel as though we had been placed in a position of neutrality—safe and protected. We have not even sworn off. Instead, the problem has been removed. It does not exist for us. We are neither cocky nor are we afraid. That is how we react so long as we keep in fit spiritual condition.” (Alcoholics Anonymous, pages 84-85)

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