The Jackpot

It seems in the old days, kids would ride the merry-go-round and try to grab a brass ring. Maybe concerns about potential lawsuits did away with the ring part. If life was a merry-go-round when I was drinking, I could barely stay on the horse, let alone reach out and snag a prize. But I had big dreams . . . “For no people have ever loved personal triumphs more than we have loved them; we drank of success as of a wine which could never fail to make us feel elated. When temporary good fortune came our way, we indulged ourselves in fantasies of still greater victories over people and circumstances.” (12×12 p.91)” This phrase helped me to identify myself when I arrived at AA. The old dreams of castles in the air have given way to a life more focused on consistency than greatness, more interested in making a difference than earning recognition. When I was out there, I immediately took credit for any “temporary good fortune” that found me. I would broadcast my “success” to anyone who would listen (in the humblest way of course). Everyone likes to be appreciated and I am no exception. But my desire to take a bow before the cheering crowd has vanished. I do not value recognition unless I can really tell myself that I earned it, gave it my very best effort. “Still more wonderful is the feeling that we do not have to be specially distinguished among our fellows in order to be useful and profoundly happy . . . True ambition is not what we thought it was. True ambition is the deep de­sire to live usefully and walk humbly under the grace of God.” (12×12 p. 124). When I was drinking I would have fallen off my barstool laughing at that phrase. Today, it is my very creed, tried, true and guaranteed.


6 thoughts on “The Jackpot

  1. My soul rests with you, my Anamchara.

    I read a good bit of stuff you on this computer every morning including a lot of God’s word as presented in His Book and one of the things I read this morning was a declaration of seeing God in the living.
    Who are the living?
    You can tell them by their engagement in and their zest for life.
    He said something like, “this is the day the Lord has given, rejoice in it”.
    I suppose one of the reasons I am still on this earth as a living being is to see this actualized and to show it as a reality.

    I had the pleasure of being taken out to a Valentines dinner last evening at a charming bistro and we enjoyed a specially prepared meal but most of all I enjoy the company of my sweetheart.
    The food wasn’t nearly as good as our love for each other and I am more thankful of that each moment of each day.

    As I have written before and I hope I bear personal witness that the sacred institution of marriage happens to be one of the ways of profound and deep experience of gratitude for love.

    That was a minivan carrying three couples of preachers to a revival in South Georgia when they were slammed into and every one of them was killed.
    They arrived at the pearly gates for a preliminary examination of worthiness (as we see it) to see if they were going to get in.

    As I heard it, St. Peter began the questioning of the first couple and stated to the preacher man, “Well I don’t know whether you are going to make it or not because you had such a love of money that you even married a woman named “Penny”. We’ll just have to take this into consideration.

    He turned to the second preacher man and said, “You’ve had such a love of fine wine that you even married a woman named, “Sherry”. — Hmm?

    The third preacher man turned to his wife and said, “Come on Fannie, we might as well be on our way”.

    “We are not a glum lot”. – Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous.

    I’m Harry, grateful 12th stepper.

  2. getting into AA is like winning the lottery . . .
    “It won’t get me everywhere, but it gives me a head start to somewhere!”

    keep trudging my friends

  3. My ambition is to be useful to others. I am more accepting of my shortcomings and grateful for the many gifts that have come my way.

  4. Simply stunning opening reflection…guilty as charged!
    So, no reason to hang my head in shame or wallow in morbid reflection.
    But simply to acknowledge that in this new way of life, I pray to learn to be His humble servant, doing His bidding.
    I am safe in the quiet awareness that He loves me as I love my fellows.
    Grateful for the Gift

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