You know, even if you really think God spoke to you in some way, and you have a right-sized concern about how people look at you, or even any sense of decorum at all, you just can't run around saying "God spoke to me!" Because in what seems to be the overwhelming majority of cases, the people who actually come right out and say "God spoke to me" tend to seem a little... intense. Or that they might have something other than a direct line of communication from a Higher Power going on. I don't want to cast aspersions (or throw stones) but the word "addled" might not be entirely off base. Certainly that term -- or others, perhaps more colorful -- come to mind when someone claims to hear a Voice. Not a voice, but, you know, THE Voice.
I've been really feeling the grind, lately. And over the past couple of days in particular my frustrations have been mounting. I've been, if not "restless, irritable and discontent" (as the Big Book puts it) then at least I've been less calm, shorter with people and not as grateful as I generally am. (Okay, okay, fine. That's basically "restless, irritable and discontent.") I've never felt like drinking, but some other commitments to healthy living and spiritual growth have been... questioned. Reconsidered. Some of those things are based on principle, others on doing my homework and making smart decisions, but they've been part of how I choose to live for a long time now.
(Sorry, but to get more specific takes this in distracting directions. Just roll with it, please. And ultimately, the specifics aren't important.)
But there's been some pretty pointed "What's the point?" being asked in my head. Some "maybe you should just let that personal commitment go" going on, mentally speaking.
So I've been writing a lot. Listening carefully in meetings for maybe some particular insight; or hoping to get re-inspired. And praying. Not big, dramatic, prostrate-on-the-ground "help help help" prayers, but some deeply heartfelt asking-for-real-guidance prayers.
And tonight I got an answer.
As I said above, even if you believe, in some small or strange way, a thought was maybe more than just you talking to yourself in your head, it's asking for trouble to claim God sent you a clear answer. Most of us prefer our Higher Power to be cryptic. Or metaphorical. Or "working through others." It's a more orderly Universe that way. To say that maybe an out-of-the-blue mental message was more of a straight up Answer than just the usual, plain old self thought means the credibility might take a little hit.
Thus even if I thought that, I couldn't really say that I thought that, since as free and vulnerable and open as I have tried to be over the years here that just seems like... a bridge too far: "You guys, God spoke to me tonight."
The whole thing is too fresh and I'm too close to it and it does kind of sound a little much. I get that.
So I'm not going to say that.
But I will say I feel like I got a very clear answer to my questions.
(And ultimately, if I feel like I got a clear answer, then who or Who was the source is almost academic. It's important to me, personally, as a man who strives to have a working faith, but in the final analysis getting an answer is getting an answer.)
And this is what the answer was:
Stay the course.
Yep. That's it. In its entirety. No qualifications, loopholes or special, exceptional circumstances cited. Just this:
Stay the course.