This week’s HTYH is a continuation of Scott’s story: When I reached Step 7: “Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.”

I encountered the word humility. What is humility? What can it mean to us? Is it really the avenue to true freedom of the human spirit? Is it a necessary aid to human survival?
What’s the value of puncturing an inflated ego? Could it possibly be that failure and misery can be transformed into success and happiness by humility? Can humility produce strength from weakness and courage from cowardness? Pain is the admission paid for a new life based on humility. Self-centered fear is the chief activator of our character defects. Step 7, is a change in attitude that permits us to move out of self-centeredness and egocentricity toward God.

“God, Please,” I said, “I am yours, take my life, the good, the bad and the ugly, and remove from me every single defect of character that’s standing in the way of a better relationship with you.”

It seemed that God said, “I know you are mine, who do you think created you? You’re the fool who moved away from me and tried to run the whole show–did you think you were God?”

“God, I’m begging you,” I said, “Please take my life, I cannot do it any longer, I’ve had enough, I’m ready to blow my brains out and I can’t go on.”

There was, of course, silence but in that silence there was peace, a feeling that was completely foreign to me-I had been living in total chaos. I was a self-will run riot and my idea of working on a relationship was to fast talk the other person before they changed their mind. My sponsor told me that a relationship was a two-way conversation, not a one-way dialogue. I had to form a healthy relationship with God, but I still had no clue how to do that. Then I heard at an AA meeting that the same criteria for having a good relationship with God are the same as for having a good relationship with human beings? With humans it meant talking and listening to them and with God it meant daily prayer (talking to Him) and meditation (listening to Him). My sponsor insisted that I had to have a healthy relationship with God in order for Him to restore me to sanity and if I got that relationship right, the human relationships would mend. Everything, it seemed, hinged on my relationship with God.

Sometime after Steps 6 & 7, I saw a job ad that could deliver me from that catering truck—I had to have it. It was a comedy-writing job for Larry’s Publications and I started obsessing on it, which caused me to crash and burn before the interview. I was nuts and my magic-mind-reading skills caused me to resent the company before the interview and when I finally interviewed, I didn’t get the job—I knew it. Then my boss called and asked me to take the catering truck to Lake Arrowhead because they were taping a commercial up there. I went up there and discovered the commercial was for Larry’s Publishing Company and they were filming, the making of the commercial. I couldn’t believe it. I imagined in my magic magnifying mind that they would show that film to Larry’s Publications, who would recognize me and say, “Hey, isn’t that guy selling meatloaf, the same person we interviewed for the writer’s job?” I called my sponsor and whined to him, but he laughed and said, “I guess God had enough comedy writers today and he needed cooks? Before I hung up the phone, my wife brought me 13, W-2 forms and handed them to me. I had 13 jobs that year because about two weeks after I started those jobs the managers started blaming each other for hiring me and I got fired. To be continued…

John Barleycorn

The phantom writer of the column "Here's to Your Health". This writer is an active member of Alcoholics Anonymous and therefore must maintain anonymity. > Read Full Biography > More Articles Written By This Writer