I’ve been thinking of the A.A. way of life (the one taught to me) and the Calvinistic theology and way of life. When I turn my focus inward and on me and God I can be quite happy. Sitting around worrying about the rest of the world can steal my peace and joy. The idea is to love those in your own particular area you are called to. Love your loved ones, yourself, and God. Don’t worry so much about the whole world. As they tell us in the A.A. Big Book:
“And acceptance is the answer to all my problems today.
When I am disturbed,
It is because I find some person, place, thing, situation –
Some fact of my life – unacceptable to me,
And I can find no serenity until I accept
That person, place, thing, or situation
As being exactly the way it is supposed to be at this moment.
Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in God’s world by mistake.
Until I could accept my alcoholism, I could not stay sober;
Unless I accept life completely on life’s terms,
I cannot be happy.
I need to concentrate not so much
On what needs to be changed in the world
As on what needs to be changed in me and in my attitudes.”
Alcoholics Anonymous, 4th Edition p. 417
People have criticized A.A. in this respect as being a “selfish” program. Is that a bad thing? Is taking care of myself first bad? Bill Wilson tells us in “As Bill Sees it”:
I can see why you are disturbed to hear some A.A. speakers say, A.A. is a selfish program. The word selfish ordinarily implies that one is acquisitive, demanding, and thoughtless of the welfare of others. Of course, the A.A. way of life does not at all imply such undesirable traits.
What do these speakers mean? Well, any theologian will tell you that the salvation of his own soul is the highest vocation that a man can have. Without salvation - however we might define this - he will have little or nothing. For us of A.A., there is even more urgency.
If we cannot or will not achieve sobriety, then we become truly lost, right in the here and now. We are of no value to anyone, including ourselves, until we find salvation from alcohol. Therefore, our own recovery and spiritual growth have to come first - a right and necessary kind of self concern.