April 2015

The cold and the slush around us begins to (finally!) give way to the smell of spring in the air. It brings a time for growth. Flowers start to bloom and buds emerge on all the trees. Instead of grey and brown all around, green appears, revitalizing the landscape. Growth, both physical and spiritual, takes time. We are not that different from the trees, which appear brown and inert but have so much going on beneath the surface, and suddenly burst to life at the first thaw. Much of our spiritual development happens unseen, with only the occasional moment of “bloom”, showcasing how far we’ve come. We can take a cue from the wildlife around us. Drink in the water and the sun, but let ourselves hibernate when resources are scarce. Above all practice patience – for ourselves and for others – because growth takes time.

The Laughter and Learning Corner

There’s this juggler who’s driving on the way to a job when he gets pulled over by a cop for speeding. The cop sees three bowling bins on the seat next to him and asks him what they’re for. The juggler proceeds to take the bowling pins out of the car and begins juggling as he’s standing on the side of the road. About this time, a recovering alcoholic drives by with his wife. Upon seeing the juggler standing in front of the cop juggling, the recovering alcoholic says, “Man, I’m sure glad I stopped drinking – Look what they’re making you do for a sobriety test now!”

Did You Know: The Origin of The Chip System AA History Trivia

People often wonder where the chip system in AA originated from. Sometimes referred to as coins, medallions or tokens, the practice of giving out a chip of some kind to mark a period of sobriety actually predates A.A. Well before A.A. began, organizations such as temperance societies, gave out medallions or coins to people who pledged to quit drinking or for marking periods of sobriety. This common custom was taken up by individual A.A.groups as each saw fit. Eventually private companies began to make “A.A.” chips and began selling them to groups. There is no codified system for giving out chips in A.A. What might be given out, how it is done and for what lengths of sobriety varies from place to place and even group to group. The periods of sobriety denoted by the chips are determined by their manufacturer. In most cases the medallions given out in A.A. are made by private companies who have no affiliation with A.A.

Footprints In The Sand
by Mary Stevenson (1922-1999)

One night I dreamed a dream.
As I was walking along the beach with my Lord.
Across the dark sky flashed scenes from my life.
For each scene, I noticed two sets of footprints in the sand,
One belonging to me and one to my Lord.
After the last scene of my life flashed before me,
I looked back at the footprints in the sand.
I noticed that at many times along the path of my life,
especially at the very lowest and saddest times,
there was only one set of footprints.
This really troubled me, so I asked the Lord about it.
“Lord, you said once I decided to follow you,
You’d walk with me all the way.
But I noticed that during the saddest and most troublesome times of my life,
there was only one set of footprints.
I don’t understand why, when I needed You the most, You would leave me.”
He whispered, “My precious child, I love you and will never leave you Never, ever,
during your trials and testings.
When you saw only one set of footprints,
It was then that I carried you.”