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Unpredictable


 
A friend in Program says:

There is a story of a man who was condemned to death. When he asked what day the sentence would be carried out, he was given no definite date. Instead, he was told, he would be executed when he least expected it.

He spent the first night in fear and trembling, of course, waiting for the guards; but they never showed up. He remained in a similar state for many, many days; and yet, despite his concerns, no one arrived to carry out the sentence. His fears diminished with the passing weeks and months. And then one morning, he awoke with the solution. No wonder he was still alive! All he had to do was to be slightly afraid each day; as long as he expected his death, even just a little, they could not execute him. It might well be that he would live for ever.

That was the morning they came for him.

Complacency is the chief enemy for those of us that have been in Program for some time. It can take some subtle forms, not least around the last three Steps. If we are making at least some effort there; if we are doing a daily inventory, or almost; if we are praying the same old prayers and reading a meditation book; if we're sponsoring a lot of people; surely that's enough to insure that we're making a little spiritual progress, isn't it? Unfortunately, it isn't; and the fact that people in Program go back out after many years is the proof of it. Our recovery can never be predictable. Unless we are willing constantly to push ourselves in order to grow, we increase the likelihood that one day we too will hear the guards coming for us -- just when we least expect it.

"The spiritual life is never one of achievement:
it is always one of letting go."

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