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Spiritual Feast

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I confess that service was never the first option for me. I went to meetings to vent my sorrows and problems, to be heard in silence, to receive hugs, and to put the minimum in the bag—to stay lean, leave OA, and never ask for help again.

When the leader asked if somebody could do a certain service, I didn’t want to waste my free time. Also, I was told that people who served were rigid, neurotic, obsessive, and controlling; business meetings were very boring; and it was safe to serve only within the group because those who served beyond the group ended up in relapse.

When business meetings started, I quickly got up and left. I did not understand I was part of it all—like it or not, participating or not—and that if I did not participate, I lost the opportunity to feel part of OA and keep the spiritual link.

Thank God you had other plans for me. Thank God you ignored my fear, laziness, and apologies and pushed me to do something. And thank God I accepted.

I was afraid of making mistakes, being criticized, and others realizing I’m not perfect. Still I ventured, timidly at first, and then bolder. I began to understand service is a privilege, not a duty, obligation, or punishment. A new world opened up to me.

By participating in discussions, voting, giving my opinion, and offering to help, I began to feel like a member of OA with rights and responsibilities. I began to feel joy in the service—something I could not understand at first. I began to understand this spiritual feast.

Service brings out our best qualities and worst faults, and we cannot hide when we serve others. I believe anyone with the courage to expose themselves through service grows as a human being.

I learned the Traditions are vital to anyone who serves. Traditions are specially made so that we can relate harmoniously and deal with conflicts when they arise.

When I serve OA, I’m the big winner—I gain recovery time! During service, I accumulate hours of abstinence, which turn into blessings here and now.

My challenge now is not to resent those who do not serve or who abandon service without explanation. I can’t complain; I have to learn to do my part only and trust in a Higher Power. As with abstinence, the call to service comes at different times and in different ways. Some may never hear that call, but they have the same right to recover because, as our blessed Third Tradition says, the only requirement is a desire to stop.

Moreover, I need to remember there is no perfect person and no perfect service. I’m learning to thank and acknowledge the work of others rather than judge. I am grateful to all those who trusted in me when even I did not trust.

Service taught me a lot about responsibility, perseverance, acceptance, patience, tolerance, strength, confidence, and courage. Providing service gets me out of my comfort zone and into new lands, and then I realize God’s hand was guiding me the entire time.

— Anonymous

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