Something dawned on me last night during our BlogTalkRadio interview with a veteran AA recovery survivor who will celebrate 27 years of sobriety in June (congratulations, Tom!). He still goes to roughly three AA meetings a week. Why? Wouldn’t you think that after that long, he wouldn’t need the meeting to stay sober? Well there are at least two answers to that question. The first answer is that you are never out of danger as an alcoholic. Many have lapsed into drinking again after more that 27 years of sobriety, and the first thing to go would be the meetings. The meetings remind you of your dependence on God and others. At an AA meeting, the support is tangible.
The second reason he keeps going back is the one I’m interested in. He enjoys the company. Tom will get up and go to early morning meetings even though he has to leave halfway through to get to his job as a schoolteacher, just to experience that intimacy with people who understand him. He uses the words “honest” and “real” to describe what he finds at those meetings that he doesn’t find anywhere else.
There is something about hitting bottom, proclaiming your powerlessness to change, and need for God that puts you on an equal footing with everyone else in the room who has acknowledged the same thing. In this setting, no one is trying to impress anyone or judge anyone. I would want to be with that group as much as I could, wouldn’t you?
Our acknowledgment as believers should come with a similar set of claims and disclaimers. We are all sinners who have fallen short of the glory of God; we have all received the free gift of God’s salvation through Jesus Christ; and we are depending on Him every moment for His life to be seen in us. There is nothing that sets one person over another. We should all have a card with these truths declared on it as a reminder that we are all at the same level. Then we could all be card-carrying Christians — all humbly walking together with nothing to prove and nothing to hide. I want to be with those guys, don’t you?