The amazing thing though is that over the years there is probably one little saying that I come back to time after time and I love sharing it. It is, “We don’t think our way into right living, and we live our way into right thinking.” What an amazing thing. This saying was proven true in my experience. Before the program, I was such a hater. I was such a thief when the sun went down. I really did not think or live in the real world. I mean you seemed to have a beautiful home walking out to the ocean every night. But for me, it was the alleys and not knowing if I was going to be sleeping indoors. So there I was, and another saying is, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” I thought today I want to tell a story about Bob C. because he made one of the most important contributions to me and my life.
Bob told a story where he was in a meeting and they were reading Chapter 5 and he had already been sober a long time he had already heard chapter five more times than anybody would want to [Laughter]. He didn’t really need to listen it because he had already heard it. As his thoughts were wandering during the reading, he noticed the woman reading it began to cry, right near the end. You know when someone begins to cry and they are reading something in a meeting or they start crying while they are sharing, you know how we all root for them. We are saying to them, “You are going to make it.” So she made it though and she read, “God could and would if he were sought” in tears. For the first time, as the woman wept during the reading, Bob noticed how the book talked about how it said “sought.” He had always thought that line went, “God could and would if he were found.” That night he realized that God could and would and does not make too hard terms to those who seek.
For me, my seeking and my spiritual experience has definitely been the one they talk about in the book as the slow and educational variety. There have been times many times when I do not want to pray or do anything of that nature. Yet I prayed and became willing. Somehow, when I just had this simple willingness, things became softer, and easier. I started to open my mind up for change. I have always stayed close to meetings and I have always kept my commitments in Alcoholics Anonymous whether I wanted to or not, whether I thought I should or not. You know, for me it didn’t matter. I suited up and showed up; that has served me very, very well in this program. During the good times, during the tough times, keeping my word and my commitments have kept me going.
Hearing things in the Big Book for the first time
It is really neat to hear the experience of “hearing” aspects of the Big Book that someone has heard a million times, but has a new experience with it. This is why things like book studies and workshops have so much value. Even people who have read the book hundreds and hundreds of times can still benefit from something new. Another cool thing about June’s story is the remarkable turnaround she had. She was definitely in a very rough situation when she came in to the program, but her resilience and perseverance is inspiring.