“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”
I use to think sobriety was just about not drinking and trudging through life and trying to tell people not to do what you did. Today I know that sobriety for me is a simple equation.
Being Dry + Serenity = Sobriety
But what is serenity? Better still how do I find it, reach it, etc? By definition serenity is the state or quality of being serene, calm, or tranquil; sereneness. Serene is calm, peaceful, tranquil; unruffled. The word originated in between the late 1400s to early 1500s. It came from the latin word serenus which was in reference to weather and a clear sky.
For me serenity comes with a realization that the only thing I have power over in many situations is my emotions, my actions, and most of my thoughts. Serenity is an inner peace attained by letting go and letting God. This is where I come to qualms with the program of AA.
A higher power, is merely a descriptive term for God, it does not identify who the true God is. There is only one God, for all of us, whether one accepts Him as God or not; it is the triune God with His three natures the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. I understand that AA is a program of attraction rather than promotion. And for good reason, to save individuals from the disease of addiction no matter what they happen to believe in.
However what good is it to have a sober life when your soul is damned for eternity? Let’s be realistic, when we die we either go to Heaven or Hell, forever. If one used a scale to measure their life, with the things they were suppose to be doing in order to know, love, and serve Our Creator to get to Heaven; and they started at zero (which is untrue from original sin, but lets say we start at zero), then addictive behavior or alcoholism would put them in the negative.
Achieving sobriety therefore, cancels out addiction and removes that distraction from our lives. However, it does not set us on the path that Christ Himself gave us through the Church He established. Sobriety may give us a clearer mindset, but it does not give one the Faith. AA is a program based on mostly charity (which is essential, but not the only requirement for salvation), and a touch of spirituality.
Sober living is wonderful, in just the short time I’ve been sober I have learned and gained appreciation for so much. Being sober is the way one should be to make life decisions. But what good is a sober life if it is not used to glorify the One True God? Being sober is not the end all be all. And being sober without the Faith established by Christ is likened to trying to catch up to someone running down the street by jumping on a treadmill.
Another big saying in AA is that it is a program of progress not perfection. I have to disagree here too. Most everyone has heard the phrase, “practice makes perfect” but what if one is practicing (whatever they are doing), the wrong way? Should not the phrase be modified to say, “perfect practice makes perfect?”
“We are not saints, the point is we are willing to grow along spiritual lines…”, A.A. HOW IT WORKS
Why can’t we strive to be saints? Is this not what we are called to be? I understand the humility of this statement, could it be modified to state that we are not saints but we are striving to be in the eyes of Our God?
“Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5:48
Considering how many examples of saints are across the world in all the ages…even if one were to not believe about one example of a story they hear about a saint; there are too many accounts of people in all places and times, testimonials from Catholics, Protestants, and people from all different beliefs converting because of these Catholic saints!
Saints who so loved God and did His will that they actually had supernatural abilities!! Testimony after testimony after testimony…all over the world!
“Otherwise believe for the very works’ sake. Amen, amen I say to you, he that believeth in me, the works that I do, he also shall do; and greater than these shall he do.” John 14:12
Sobriety is undoubtedly a good thing. When, like all good things, it is used for the glory of God. Why all for Gods glory? Because we have absolutely no right to claim anything as our own. Not even our own bodies, it’s all His, everything is His. We are living on borrowed time, why? Because He loves us and wants us to be with Him.
All good comes from God as we know, but have we given that obvious statement much thought? If all good comes from God then the things that are not good do not come from God. The things that appear as good are deceitful lies that steer us away from God to Hell. Sobriety is the tool we have to see through the lies. This is how we discover objective truths, and this is how we find God and how to serve Him the right way.
Truth is in history, its in day to day activity, its in everything. The truth about what things really are, what truly matters and what matters not is where you find God and from God and His Will you can achieve true serenity, true happiness, and true life for eternity. His Will is not easy according to the comforts of the world and society, and it’s because the world lies to us. It makes us comfortable so the devil can take us from Him who made us.
True serenity is found in doing the Will of God. Doing otherwise leads to impossible expectations that don’t get met and get people angry, lustful, or drunk. Sorting through the world of chaos and finding His Will for us will lead us to a perfect peace we will never know here.
God Bless BJS!!