Program for Living

In the movie Shawshank Redemption as they were walking a prisoner to the execution chamber they yelled out, “dead man walking.” That was me before AA. A lifetime of trying to control every aspect of my life left me spiritually empty. I had no interest or enthusiasm for anything; I had no real friends; I had nothing to look forward to except the next drink.

My life, once filled with so much promise, had shrunk to the size of my messy apartment. I had successfully separated myself from God and everything good in life. I lived in the wilderness of my own stinking thinking. Mine was not a program for living, but a program for dying.

Then I was graced with a moment of clarity that led me to Alcoholics Anonymous. I tried to stay outside the circle, but you guys wouldn’t let me. You pulled me in with your welcomes, pats on the back and your laughter. Especially your laughter. I had no idea what was going on, but I knew I wanted what you had (well, some of you anyways!) and was graced with the willingness to do what was suggested. Slowly, slowly I began to change.

Growing along spiritual lines is a never-ending journey. There is no finish line. God keeps gently pulling me forward into ever greater expression. I cooperate by following our Program for Living to the best of my ability on any given day. Today I enjoy greater peace of mind than ever before, but I feel I’ve only scratched the surface of what is possible.