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(#1177) Art G (Richmond, VA)
Oct 1971 in Atlanta, GA  EVENT: 18th Georgia State Convention  TYPE: AA, Male, Story


Art was the Sunday morning speaker, Baptist preacher and alcoholic learning to live in a non-alcoholic society.

He thanks God for the Fellowship and shares why that is important and how it is different from an organization or institution.

We are not doctors, theologians, psychiatrists or God and have no right to tell these professional how to do their jobs or to tell every alcoholic that AA is the only way. What we can do through the felowship is share our experience, strength and hope. We have a "shared belonging" through this sharing of all aspects of our lives.

An alcoholic is a person seeking meaning, purpose and direction. "He is a lukewarm organism who longs to know who he is as a person."

Art came in as a lost soul, over reacting, without purpose and direction. He had to first determine who the old man was before realizing what the new man can become through the Program.

Before AA, he took his God given talents and built prisons rather than bridges: prisons of fear, loneliness, self-pity, pride, brokenness, non-forgiveness and an inability to love, rather than bridges of Faith, Acceptance, Gratitude, Wholeness (not perfection), Forgiveness and Outgoing Love all toward God's Grace.

He grew up with a grandfather who whipped him if he got less than 100 on a test. He let others set his standards.

His wife stayed with him through it all in the end him not bathing or shaving lashing out at her in anger then putting on a front when others came over. He was locked in a cage of his own making.

The dues and fees of membership are paid before we come into the Program.

Pride is still his greatest foe. Ultimately we are responsible for us.

"'Let go and let God' does not mean that we can pass on to Him the responsibility of what we do with the building blocks he gives us. God didn't make any robots." The ultimate decision not to take that first drink resides within the alcoholic.

He closes with a story about a small town in Europe rebuilding their cathedral after the War and a stained glass artisan.

NOTE: This recording is from a reel-to-reel housed at the GSSA Archives in Macon, GA. The sound quality is excellent. The full session is included in the BURN version.

(46 min) (10.8 MB) (id#1177)