Humility in Spirituality

Humility and Spirituality

Many years ago my Sponsor told me something which seemed strange at the time, “Bless you lad keep away from the spiritual ones.” Why would he say that and why would I want to do it because surely that was the whole point, to be spiritual? He obviously knew this himself.

He was somebody who seldom mentioned the word "God", although when he did he would talk freely and with a certainty, which was attractive. Whenever I saw him I never left without feeling better. Just being in his company was nice. I knew he had a serious prayer life and was a devout man or he at least tried to be.

In my area meetings where full of people talking about God. My Home Group was becoming a Prayer and Meditation group rather than an AA meeting. Every other word morning, noon and night was "God". But it felt different when as a newcomer I was with these people, that sense of comfort and security was missing.

I began to see that it wasn’t about talking about God or telling people how spiritual I was. It wasn’t about speaking in a very low voice or sitting cross-legged in a meeting with my eyes shut that was required. I simply had to help people and thank God in private for the privilege.

I would hear people talk about Christ in a meeting; they appeared to look down on the non-believers. I would just want to scream out “every time you say that you crucify him again.” As a newcomer I would have ran for the door and that may just as well have been the result. A wise man once said: “What you do to the least of the brethren you do unto me.” How true.

It was Love, sometimes tough, compassion and spiritual understanding that I required to effect a significant change in my life. That came about when somebody inspired me by their actions to do the things which transform a sick twisted soul like me. To do things which seemed unspiritual, they seemed like actions for school kids. Why should I arrive early at my Home Group and why should I smarten up?

But I did these kindergarten spiritual actions anyway – only in time did I see the true spirituality of simplicity. Being spiritual had nothing to do with talking about God, or showing others how good I was. Neither was all the spiritual theory ever going to help me.

Aristotle said: “We enter the Palace of Reason through the Courtyard of Habit”. By taking actions without knowing the reason why, we gain the moral armor to learn that reason later. Growing spiritually for a person like me does not require the outgrowing of simple actions but the maintenance of the dull and sometimes tedious.

It was only after my Sponsor died that I discovered he was once a Benedictine Monk. He never told me because he never needed to, as our religious convictions mean little if we can't stay sober. If you need to talk incessantly about God to show that you’re spiritual it is highly likely that you aren’t.

                                                                WP 18/9/13