As most of you know, I have been reading Ralph Martin's book Fulfillment of All Desire. As promised, the book is changing my perspective in that it is once again reminding me, in a practical manner, that I do not get to do the same stuff other people get to do if I want to go to heaven.
I know. I know. That is not politically correct. In today's society everyone gets to go to heaven, along with the dog, because if anyone ends up in hell then it must be due to a punishing and unreasonable God. Nothing is ever anyone's fault. Nobody is required to behave in a manner that is reasonable, kind, compassionate or just plain POLITE because (and especially because OF) that means that all those mean people around you will take advantage of you. And we cannot have that - no no no no no. SO, if someone calls you Georgie Gin-Blossom because they do not believe you are really sober, it is perfectly fine that you respond by calling them Quivering Chins.
The preceding paragraph will, of course, make sense only to those people who have been reading The Hive. LoM has come up with a hateful nickname for me, now, because he hates my religion, the fact that I have been sober for 17 years and that I will not engage in any conversation with someone who hurls invectives at others and calls it dialogue.
He has also decided that I never tell my friend Jack when he is wrong, which is not true and which Jack can attest to - I am Jack's self-appointed "Internet Mom" and he knows very well I do not approve of his name calling either; what LoM doesn't get is that if he was showing even a teeny weeny bit of humility I would defend him as well. He doesn't. He whines and whines, he throws his daughter under the proverbial bus whenever he can and he lies about who and what he is...and then he demands that everyone pay him homage. If we don't, he accuses us of 'marginalizing' him.
And I do not even know what the heck that means - but apparently it has something to do with not taking him seriously.
Which I can't - because he doesn't make sense.
Anyway, I got off track.
Ok, the book..that's it...the book....
Anyway, I am in that section where he is starting to speak to the power of prayer and how important it is to the Christian. Gathering the wisdom of people like St Bernard, St Teresa of Avila, St Therese, etc, Mr. Martin makes the argument that no one who is in love with Jesus Christ can expect to escape being bashed about by the nasty creatures of the world. I am not speaking about people who simply disagree or practice a different form of worship; rather, I am talking about those people who hand you a crown of thorns every chance they get. They take pride in it. They see it as somehow defending freedom of speech or setting personal boundaries or whatEVER but they really REALLY enjoy hurting people around them.
Mr. Martin reminds me that no one behaves in that manner unless they are really hurting themselves. So the proper response to this kind of verbal battery is to say to oneself "here comes Jesus, cleverly disguised".
Which brings me to my next point: I am obviously not a saint.
I can ignore, talk around or speak to them with controlled politeness but man it is difficult to see Jesus in someone who is beating up his daughter in public. I don't CARE what she is doing - do NOT tell me you are a member of AA in good standing and behave like a freaking BATTERER.
So, what does all this mean?
Well, it means that I have to try harder. First, I have to remember that love is not a feeling. It is an act of the will. I have to make a decision to love LoM no matter how insane he is and never EVER treat him like he is treating me, or his daughter, or Jack or anyone else who makes the mistake of disagreeing with him.
And it means that I can still tell Jack to try his best to take the high road, to not respond in kind, to try and pray for the guy and not pray that he walk in front of a fast moving bus (no matter how tempting it might be to say just that prayer every night).
I have been sober since May 4, 1992. There are no AA Sobriety Data Bases anywhere that can verify that - but there are people in this world who have sat with me through thick and thin - burials of loved ones, loss of money, property and prestige, bad and good behavior and they have seen me go to any lengths to stay sober.
More importantly, they have seen me really try to live the traditions and the principles of the steps in my life. Doing good is not enough - because as it states in our third tradition, sometimes 'good' is the enemy of 'the best'.
So, forgive me if I take this time to whine myself. I need prayers. I want to be a better woman. I want to go to heaven.
And I want the Niners to win a couple of more games this season.
Is that really too much to ask?