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Old 08-09-2013, 09:46 AM   #1
bluidkiti
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Default Having the proper tools

Imagine that you are on a hiking trip in the middle of the desert. You see a figure in the distance. It is an old man bearded and half naked, on hands and knees, with his fingers clawing at the sandy earth. You ask, "What are you doing?" "I'm digging for buried treasure," says the old man. "How long have you been at it?" you ask. "Weeks--months maybe. It is hard and slow work." You notice the old man's bloody fingers and his raw and calloused knuckles. You say, "Listen, man! Digging with your bare hands is a pretty inefficient method. That hole is only a couple of feet deep. Let me loan you my shovel." You reach into your backpack, pull out a light-weight, tempered-edge spade, and drive it into the ground. In less than five minutes you have demonstrated to the old fellow that more progress can be made in moments than he could make in a month of using his bare hands.
Then an amazing thing happens. The old man's eyes fill with hate and his face flushes angrily. He charges at you, grabs the shovel from your hands, and throws it away. "Get away from me with your new fangled contraptions," he says. "I've been digging this way all of my life and it works fine. Now you just get out of here and leave me alone. I'll be fine doing it my way."

Many people seeking recovery from addictive disease are the same way that this old man is digging for treasure. They attempt to maintain their clean time without the tools of NA. If digging with your bare hands is the only way you know to get the job done, you do it that way. But it is slow and hard, and the chances of finding treasure in the form of long-term, comfortable, clean time are very slow.

Meetings are a tool for recovery much like a shovel is a tool in searching for treasure. A shovel gives you a better and more efficient way to dig. Having a shovel does not guarantee that you will find what you are looking for, but it sure does increase your chances and it makes the process of searching for it much easier and more enjoyable.

But let us go back to our old digger. Suppose he takes the shovel you offer him. But suppose that after awhile he comes to a rock that the shovel cannot penetrate. You offer him a pick ax and once again his goal becomes attainable. Working the steps of NA and attending NA meetings together provide the pick and shovel necessary for large numbers of people to reach the goal of remaining clean.

But still many people who have used their hands, used the shovel and the pick, and still have hit gigantic boulders that cannot be removed with the tools they have. Getting a trusted sponsor provides an air hammer--if you choose to use it.

Having the proper tools does not remove your responsibility to use your hands and dig in the right place. The right tools just let you get farther faster if you choose to work at it. It also does not guarantee that you will find long-term, comfortable recovery. But it does increase your chances.
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"No matter what you have done up to this moment, you get 24 brand-new hours to spend every single day." --Brian Tracy
AA gives us an opportunity to recreate ourselves, with God's help, one day at a time. --Rufus K.
When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. --Franklin D. Roosevelt
We stay sober and clean together - one day at a time!
God says that each of us is worth loving.
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