On awakening let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead. We consider our plans for the day. Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives. Under these conditions we can employ our mental faculties with assurance, for after all God gave us brains to use. Our thought-life will be placed on a much higher plane when our thinking is cleared of wrong motives, page 86 AA.
The word motives is used only 6 times in the AA Big Book. In this passage the key for me is the timing of asking God to take care of my motives.Take a normal day, how soon does an alcoholic get into trouble? Probably before the eyes are even open! It’s when I first awake, not after breakfast, not after prayer time, but upon awakening that I need help (whether I realize it or not).
When I wake up, the first thing I think about is the plan for the day. For me it’s narrowed a lot from a year ago. I had to have a database just to keep up with my plans so I didn’t drop a ball or miss a deadline when I was managing a resort. Now I just think about what I’m going to wear (how hot will it get), what I’m fixing for dinner, what I plan on writing and who I want to call. Guarding the gate takes no forethought, so I’m never preoccupied by my work anymore.
Does that mean I’m not going to get into trouble? Of course not. AA says, before we begin. I wonder if that means before we begin considering those plans. I don’t think so. I think it means before we begin what we’ve planned. Dress, pray, write, cook, that’s my day. I can get dressed at this age without much worry about my motives, but it’s safe to say I shouldn’t pray without asking that my thoughts be directed.
We consider our plans for the day. Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives, page 86.
What are the natural pitfalls in the psyche of the alcoholic?
We took a superficial look at these typical defects of character in the Step 4: Part 6 and Step 4: Column 5, the Foul Four. The next post is going to examine just how these character faults cause so much heartache.