I am having my fifth sponsee meeting of the week today. It has been a week of work, a week of not feeling well, a week of late nights due to evening meetings. I could go on but feel that I don't need to explain more to you because I'm sure that you are also running to catch up.
I know that I have extraordinary energy and stamina. I can be robotic in my ability to work long hours. And I've added to that the extra time that I spend with Al-Anon meetings and sponsees. And this brings me to an observation: It seems that I am putting my heart and soul into recovery, yet it seems that there are so few of us at meetings I attend that are willing to sponsor, to become GR's, to do service work.
Ed summed it up nicely in his great post about sponsorship . He said:
"It's puzzling to me why so few people get engaged in some level of AA service. I heard my wife (also in AA) make a statement today that "...It used to be that you took your AA service commitments very seriously and, as a part of that, you learned to take yourself less seriously. Today the sentiment largely seems to be that I have to take myself seriously and that the only service I will do is what's fun and easy for me."
The fun and easy part may well be the real issue. Service work can be time-consuming and tiring work. I know at the GR level, I see that personalities can clash and disagreements can occur. There are hurt feelings sometimes. Maybe that is the reason that it is hard to fill positions and that resentments can start to rise when few new individuals step up to help out.
Nonetheless, I tell my sponsees to get into service, give it away in order to keep it. Some get it and some don't. I hear a lot of excuses: I'm too tired, that meeting is too far away, I'm still new--I'm sure that you have hear these and more. I have to resist the eye roll when I hear some of these "reasons" to not get more involved.
I've learned that I can sacrifice my feeling of how things should go in order to serve the group and maintain unity. I have kept my mouth shut when I wanted to set people straight. I have practiced humility when I felt I knew a better way. I have paused when agitated. Essentially, I have been shown chances to put my will second to something greater than me, and the internal rewards have been well worth it.
Although it may take me a few 24 hours and a lot of prayer, I am grateful for the people who irritate, try to control, or stick their shortcomings right in my face. I have learned through them to do things that I don't want to do and to not do things that I may want to do.
Hope that you enjoy this day. It is Friday which is all right by me.