Alcoholics Anonymous is a time-proven friend to those who are willing to admit that their addictions have mastered them and that if they don’t get help, they are going under; the key factor being that they admit that their addictions are ruling and ruining their lives.
Many people fight the notion that they can’t handle the alcohol or other outside influences and are forced to hit rock bottom before they seek help. AA understands and always stands ready to help pick up the pieces of a broken life and begin the process of putting them back together again.
They are an organization of recovering alcoholics and have all gone through the process. They are eager to help another fallen brother or sister get back on their feet again.
Two reasons for prefacing this article with dialogue about AA: one, to laud them for the many, many lives and families they’ve helped, and the other is about the Alcoholics Anonymous prayer – a prayer, that to me encompasses the attitude that any person, alcoholic or not, would want to develop to stay sane in this tumultuous world we live in.
“God give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”
To me, it hits all the bases, accepting and being at peace with the things that are beyond your control, to withstand the daily barrage of rumors of wars, silly politics and street violence we’re faced with and realize that there are things that, after praying about, we just have to leave to God.
I believe that our Creator wants us to take courage and change the things that are within our control: a family matter, a job decision, or whatever else falls under our personal purview – to do the best we can, and sometimes that means going against the crowd, which does take great courage.
And having the wisdom to separate the things we can control from the things we can’t control is a crucial element of the prayer.
How many times have I raged at the TV or let some snippet of stupidity or injustice take away my peace when there’s absolutely nothing I could do about it except resort to the base side of my vocabulary and fume?
And how many times have I been around some conversation discussing things I knew to be wrong, innocuous gossip or prejudice or misconceptions and didn’t want to get involved by going against the popular opinion, but to live with myself, had to screw my courage up to the sticking point and say, “With all due respect, I just don’t agree with that”?
And how many times have I walked away to avoid a hassle? Too many, that’s for sure.
We go through self-righteousness periods, or at least I do, when we want to strike out at our sources of frustration and go off charging windmills with vitriol and acid without realizing that we are pursuing an exercise in futility and possibly engage in verbiage we wish we could take back.
It’s easy to go overboard when you’re angry and way above your pay grade, and all you have accomplished is a wounded ego and an embarrassing aftertaste.
It’s all about knowing when to fight and when to retreat to fight another day, when to engage and when to cut bait, when to stand up and shout and when to sit down and listen, when to lead and when to follow, when to applaud and when to boo.
It’s about accepting the things you cannot change, changing the things you can and knowing which are which.
It’s a comprehensive prayer, and a great motto to live by.
What do you think?
Pray for our troops, our police and the peace of Jerusalem
God Bless America
— Charlie Daniels
Charlie Daniels is a legendary American singer, song writer, guitarist, and fiddler famous for his contributions to country and southern rock music. Daniels has been active as a singer since the early 1950s. He was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry on January 24, 2008.