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Grapevine : November 2011
ONE day I was walking along the beach a er a meeting. I saw an old man walking toward me. Every so o en, he would kneel down, pick something up and study it for a moment. en, he would either put it back on the beach or throw it into the sea. As we drew nearer to each other, I noticed that the beach was littered with starfish, washed up by the tide. e old man was searching for live ones and returning them to the sea. When we were close enough to speak, I told him how pointless his e orts were. ere were too many of them. He could not pos- sibly make a di erence. In reply, he threw a living starfish into the sea, and said, "It made a di erence to that one." en, he leaned closer, adding, "I could use a little help." I have been a member of Alcoholics Anonymous for almost 10 years, but I have only been a sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous for close to six. I became a sober member dur- ing a snowstorm on the Trans Canada Highway in December 1997. at was the day that I found my Higher Power. Now, he didn't come to me in a blinding flash of light. e earth didn't move. Time didn't stand still. But, something of a great mo- ment definitely happened that day. I had been hitchhik- ing in that storm for four days as a result of my last drunk. I was almost dead from exposure. Up until this point, I had rejected the "spiritual aspects" of the program. My, that was a gentle way to put it. In all honesty, by the time I walked through the doors of AA, I did not believe in God, I did not want to be- lieve in God, and I did not care if you believed in God just so long as you did your believing someplace else. One of the old-timers had always told me, "If you don't bend your knees, you'll bend your elbow," meaning that if I didn't ask for God's help, I would drink again. Well, for four years I refused to bend my knees and for four years, I bent my el- bow. I had become, as the "Twelve and Twelve" says, "as willing to listen as only the dying can be." So, in a little country church just outside of Meductic, New Brunswick, God and me had a little meeting. I thanked him for keeping me sober and alive as long as he had already, and I asked him to keep me sober and alive just a little bit longer, long enough for me to get back home to AA. In return, I promised that I would try to believe a little bit more. When I got up from my praying, I knew that some- thing was di erent. It's di cult to explain. I felt stronger. I felt something I had not felt in many years---hope. Later that day, in the evening, I was in Freder- icton, New Brunswick, on STEP ELEVEN: Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out. aagrapevine.org 25