The Spirit of Service

The Spirit of Service

I can remember when my sponsor asked me if I would like to start doing some service for my home-group by sweeping up the cigarette butts from outside the hall entrance where we have one of our meetings.  '"Yes please," I replied with immediate eagerness.  I was very happy to do this as the spirit of service was not new to me and I knew that giving of myself to AA and my home group was very important for several different reasons.

I take my service activities in AA seriously because they are so important; whether it be a simple smile and a friendly handshake to a new man on his first night in AA, or setting up the microphone and amplifier for my home group's lectern on a Sunday night meeting.

I have seen and read about it time and time again over the years that service to others crushes the ego like nothing else does.  On a personal level this is so important to us alcoholics as we are egotistical to the extreme.  Just as it says in the book 'Alcoholics Anonymous' on page 62:

'Selfishness, Self-centredness! That, we think, is the root of our troubles.'

I have found that the easiest and fastest way out of this state of selfishness and self-centredness is the giving of myself, my time and my energy in service to others and to AA.  My happiest moments in AA have been when I have been doing service.  It is the highest of all spiritual principles.  I had to smile when my sponsor said that he feels closest to God when he is helping newcomers.  It is of no surprise to me that the first part of Step Twelve is all about service.  The best way I can be of service to the still-suffering alcoholic is by trying to carry my message of recovery.

I wouldn't be sober today if it wasn't for the dedicated service efforts of every alcoholic that has trudged the Road of Happy Destiny before me over the last seven decades.  There is a very high level of quality sobriety in my home group  for one reason only.   That reason is all down to the altruistic service of the old-timers of my home group to help the still suffering alcoholic to recover from the disease of alcoholism through the Twelve Step program.  They have freely given back to others and to the service structure within AA what was freely given to them.

I wish you all a happy, sober day and renewed vigour in service to others.