Home Service Between Steps One and Twelve

Between Steps One and Twelve

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When it comes to service and footwork for OA, I rarely say no when I’m asked to do a job, unless I have a good reason. I have started meetings, held meetings in my home, provided childcare, and been the literature person, secretary, treasurer, intergroup rep, WSBC delegate, and contact person. I’ve gone to the intergroup office for needed materials, answered calls when I didn’t really want to, been the key holder, and have just plain showed up at a meeting when I didn’t feel like it because someone new might be there. I’ve also stayed after the meeting to explain the program to a newcomer and made calls to those who were either new or in need.

What about being abstinent and giving service? If I can maintain my abstinence with the help of others, then I can perpetuate this program. If I were not abstinent, then I could come asking for help and do what I could in the name of service. Honesty is service. Humility is service. I cannot recall a time when someone wasn’t there for me, so the question always fell back on me: am I willing to ask for help when I need it?

As far as God’s work, I know there is a mystery about the program. I know there is something magical that happens when we come together. Our strength is not measured by the money in our pocket or the size of our homes. It is not measured by the degrees we hold or the jobs we have had. It is not measured by our family status. Our relationship with God, however we define that, is ours alone. In our silence, we find that Power greater than ourselves.

“To show other alcoholics precisely how we have recovered is the main purpose of this book” (Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th ed., p. xiii). Step One admits powerlessness. Step Two refers to a Power greater than ourselves. Step Three is turning our will and lives over to the care of God as we understand Him. Steps Five, Six, Seven, and Eleven mention God.

In between Steps One and Twelve there is work: footwork, service work, and the rest is God work. If we sit back and wait for someone to come to the meeting and open the door or if we leave before it is over, we cheat ourselves. By becoming a part of the group, we “extend our hand and heart,” as our founder said in the Responsibility Pledge. But our responsibility is not just for others, because what we do comes back to us. To ensure OA is there for us, we give and receive in return. I am ever so grateful to all those who went before, paving the way, and I pray to never forget where I came from.

— Edited and reprinted from Out of the Cocoon newsletter, Milwaukee Area Intergroup, September/October 2016

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