Sunday, September 19, 2010

Prayers, Principles, and Personalities

If I had a nickle for every time that  my grandmother told me to pray without ceasing, I'd be much better off than I am today, in more ways than one.  My grandmother was a very religious woman.  She was always studying, praying,lecturing, encouraging, etc.  She took the responsibility of sharing her faith very very seriously.  A few years before she died, she decided to teach me to make this candy called divinity so that I could mail it to my fiance.  She was a fabulous cook in her day.  When she went to the kitchen to begin, she couldn't find her recipe.  She searched and searched and began to quietly say,"Lord, where did I put that recipe?"  Then I hear her say, " Thank you, Lord, it is like seven minute frosting."  In the tiniest details that affected her life, she prayed.  She drove me crazy as a teenager, but the seeds she planted were invaluable.  Thank you Lord, for her example. 

Prayer is so very essential.  The older I get, the more I rely on it.  One of the concerns that I've had lately(which by the way is not any of my business/problem) is that my son didn't have a permanent sponsor.  I know that this isn't my problem and while I didn't  nag remind my son of this concern, I did pray about it.  He has had many temporary sponsors along the way but in a fashion that I can describe most closely to resembling dating, he just hasn't had one that he was willing to mention to mom and dad yet.  Along the way, I would ask the questions.  The tidbits that I'd get along the way never really made me think that he felt like he'd found "the one."

 A sponsor is like a mentor.  They are advisers, teachers, role models...they are someone who has been there.  They are so wonderful to give their time to a newly recovering addict.  They help teach their sponsee to work the steps.  The 12 steps were initiated by an alcoholic named Bill Wilson and a friend of his, another alcoholic, who was a doctor.  A nun named Sister Ignatius was also instrumental in the early days of treating alcoholics.  The idea is that it takes someone who has been there for the addict to truly benefit from the program.  In the beginning it seemed counter intuitive to me to imagine a former addict to teach my son how to be a productive, sober member of society.  I wanted someone"good" to do that.  I now see that it takes someone who has been down that road to understand the process and guide my son along his way.

  I had never been exposed to the twelve steps until this great tragedy in my life occurred.  When I read them and try to put them into practice, I feel like I'm on the Oprah Winfrey show and I've just had my "ah-ha" moment.    When my son called so very excited over this new sponsor and I started to question him about this sponsor, my son said, "Mom, principles over personalities."  I thought about my son correcting my old ways of thinking and I just felt so proud.  I know he's got a long way to go but, these alcoholics and addicts that really practice these steps have more insight and "right" thinking going on than many people who appear, on the outside, to have it pulled together.

I can't help but think how quickly we forget many lessons from Jesus himself.  He hung out with thieves and prostitutes.  He founded the church on a man who denied him.  AA was first established by two drunks and a nun.  I've been praying and praying and why am always surprised at the wonderful folks who have been put in my son's path who are former drunks and addicts?  Why am I always looking at things on the outside? 

Today is a day of hope.  It is still a day with fear.  It is also day 55 of sobriety for my son.  He has a long way to go.  I have a long way to go.  Today I pray a prayer of thanksgiving for 55 days, for a wonderful new sponsor and for new insight.  I pray for all those out there who have not asked for help or are unable to get help.  I pray for perseverance in this journey.  And, I pray for the soul of Henry.

1 comment:

coffeemom said...

Love this post!!!! One of my favs. Well said!