In Loving Memory of Vic

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Daily Recovery Readings – August 2

Just For Today
August 2
Practicing Honesty

“When we feel trapped or pressured, it takes great spiritual and emotional strength to be honest.”
Basic Text, p.81

Many of us try to wiggle out of a difficult spot by being dishonest, only to have to humble ourselves later and tell the truth. Some of us twist our stories as a matter of course, even when we could just as easily tell the plain truth. Every time we try to avoid being honest, it backfires on us. Honesty may be uncomfortable, but the trouble we have to endure when we are dishonest is usually far worse than the discomfort of telling the truth.

Honesty is one of the fundamental principles of recovery. We apply this principle right from the beginning of our recovery when we finally admit our powerlessness and unmanageability. We continue to apply the principle of honesty each time we are faced with the option of either living in fantasy or living life on its own terms. Learning to be honest isn’t always easy, especially after the covering up and deception so many of us practiced in our addiction. Our voices may shake as we test our newfound honesty. But before long, the sound of the truth coming from our own mouths settles any doubts: Honesty feels good! It’s easier living the truth than living a lie.

Just for today: I will honestly embrace life, with all its pressures and demands. I will practice honesty, even when it is awkward to do so. Honesty will help, not hurt, my efforts to live clean and recover.


Daily Reflections
August 2

At the moment we are trying to put our lives in order. But this is not an end in itself.

How easily I can become misdirected in approaching the Eighth Step! I wish to be free, somehow transformed by my Sixth and Seventh Step work. Now, more than ever, I am vulnerable to my own self-interest and hidden agenda. I am careful to remember that self-satisfaction, which sometimes comes through the spoken forgiveness of those I have harmed, is not my true objective. I become willing to make amends, knowing that through this process I am mended and made fit to move forward, to know and desire God’s will for me.


Twenty-Four Hours A Day
August 2
A.A. Thought For The Day

Alcoholics Anonymous has no quarrel with medicine, psychiatry, or religion. We have great respect for the methods of each. And we are glad for any success they may have had with alcoholics. We are desirous always of cooperating with them in every way. The more doctors, the more psychiatrists, the more clergy and rabbis we can get to work with us, the better we like it. We have many who take a real interest in our program and we would like many more. Am I ready to cooperate with those who take a sincere interest in A.A.?

Meditation For The Day

God is always ready to pour His blessings into our hearts in generous measure. But like the seed-sowing, the ground must be prepared before the seed is dropped in. It is our task to prepare the soil. It is God’s to drop the seed. This preparation of the soil means many days of right living, choosing the right and avoiding the wrong. As you go along, each day you are better prepared for God’s planting, until you reach the time of harvest. Then you share the harvest with God — the harvest of a useful and more abundant life.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that my way of living may be properly prepared day by day. I pray that I may strive to make myself ready for the harvest which God has planted in my heart.


As Bill Sees It
August 2
Only Try, p. 214

In my teens, I had to be an athlete because I was not an athlete. I had to be a musician because I could not carry a tune. I had to be the president of my class in boarding school. I had to first in everything because in my perverse heart I felt myself the least of God’s creatures. I could not accept my deep sense of inferiority, and so I strove to become captain of the baseball team, and I did learn to play the fiddle. Lead I must–or else. This was the “all or nothing” kind of demand that later did me in.


“I’m glad you are going to try that new job. But make sure that you are only going to ‘try.’ If you approach the project in the attitude that “I must succeed, I must not fail, I cannot fail,’ then you practically guarantee the flop which in turn will guarantee a drinking relapse. But if you look at the venture as a constructive experiment only, then all should go well.”

1. A.A. Comes Of Age, p. 53
2. Letter, 1958


Walk In Dry Places
August 2
“That’s the way I am”
Getter Better

Bad behavior is sometimes justified as a form of self-expression: “That’s the way I am.” Others are supposed to tolerate this or risk losing a friendship.

In our program, we should modify any behavior that offends or hurts others. If we have been too brutally frank in our comments, for example, maybe we’re at fault. What we call honesty is really a form of cruelty.

If we persist in “being the way we are” even when it doesn’t work, we have nobody to blame but ourselves when things go wrong. Other people are entitled to be treated fairly and decently. Just as we want to be. Perhaps “the way I am” is something that can be changed for the good of all, ourselves included.

If I have habits and traits that cause friction with others, I’ll take a new look at them. It’s possible that this is something I can and should change.


Keep It Simple
August 2

. . . and because willing to make amends to them all.
—Second half of Step Eight.

We have made our list of persons we’ve harmed. Now we look at how willing we are to make amends. We might find that we aren’t ready and willing to make amends to everyone. Maybe they have wronged us more than we have wronged them. Maybe we’re afraid they’ll get angry with us. Maybe we’re afraid they’ll put us in jail.

We get ready to make amends by listening and talking to others in our group—and to our sponsor. We pray for help to be willing to make amends.  Becoming willing does not just happen.  We have to work at it. We need to be willing to let go of the past.

Prayer for the Day: Higher Power, help me become willing. Help me see my part. I know “my part” is the only part I can change.

Action for the Day: I will take time to go over my list. To whom am I not ready to make amends?  I will take time to read the Serenity Prayer.


Each Day a New Beginning
August 2

Though we be sick and tired and faint and worn–Lo, all things can be borne!
—Elizabeth Chase Akers

What bothered us most a year ago? A month ago? Even a week ago? It’s probably that whatever it was, we were obsessed with it, certain that our futures were ruined, that there was no reasonable solution. It’s also probable that we feared we simply couldn’t survive the complexity of the situation. But we did. And we always will be able to survive any and all difficulties. We are never, absolutely never, given more than we can handle. In fact, we are given exactly what we need, at any given time.

We have many lessons to learn. Fortunately, we have the structure of the Twelve Steps to guide us through the lessons. We need mainly to remember what we are powerless over, that there is a power greater than ourselves, and that life will become simple; we’ll need no extra homework when we’ve turned it over to the care of God.

Whatever my problem today, I will let God have it. A solution is in the making. I’ll see it just as quickly as I can let go of the problem.


Alcoholics Anonymous
August 2
Jim’s Story

This physician, one of the earliest members of A.A.’s first black group, tells of how freedom came as he worked among his people.

I worked in the steel mill for possibly two months, and then I became disgusted with myself and decided to go back home. I think the thing that galled me was that just after Easter I had drawn my salary for two weeks’ work and had decided that I was going to send some money to Vi; and above all else was going to send my baby daughter an Easter outfit. But there happened to be a liquor store between the post office and the mill, and i stopped to ge that one drink. Of course, the kid never got the Easter outfit. I got very little out of the two hundred that I drew on that payday.

pp. 241-242


Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
August 2

Step Twelve – “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs.”

Of course all A.A.’s, even the best, fall far short of such achievements as a consistent thing. Without necessarily taking that first drink, we often get quite far off the beam. Our troubles sometimes begin with indifference. We are sober and happy in our A.A. work. Things go well at home and office. We naturally congratulate ourselves on what later proves to be a far too easy and superficial point of view. We temporarily cease to grow because we feel satisfied that there is no need for all of A.A.’s Twelve Steps for us. We are doing fine on a few of them. Maybe we are doing fine on only two of them, the First Step and that part of the Twelfth where we “carry the message.” In A.A. slang, that blissful state is known as “two-stepping.” And it can go on for years.

pp. 112-113


Xtra Thoughts
August 2

Today…well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness, and every tomorrow a vision of hope.

“Treat People The Way You Want To Be Treated.”  “To Thine Own Self Be True!” “This Is The Real Thing IT’S No Dress Rehearsal.”

“Silence is the element in which great things fashion themselves.”
–Thomas Carlyle

“In any situation, no matter how painful, we have two choices: Hold onto anger, resentment, hurt, and fear, or open our hearts and look at the other person with understanding, empathy, & forgiveness.”
–Melody Beattie

“Look back and be grateful, look ahead and be hopeful, look around and be helpful.”

The first step identifies the problem.
The second step identifies the solution.
The third step identifies the action.

When I came into AA all I could say was, “I know” and “yeah but…” Then I got a sponsor who said, “You don’t know, and there are no buts!”


Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
August 2

“Nobody ever died of laughter.”
– Max Beerbohm

I knew that I was growing in self-esteem and confidence when I was able to laugh, express that “belly” laugh that proclaims that I am glad to be alive.

So many religious people are too serious. They seem to think that God disapproves of laughter and yet it seems the most natural emotion in the world. Sobriety is a statement that the pain is being overcome and the hope that is experienced will necessarily release laughter.

Laughter also stops us from treating ourselves and the world too seriously. I remember a professor telling me, “God created the world for fun. Find the key to life and enjoy it.” Spirituality is that key.

Sometimes, Lord, in the silence of my car, my joy is so great and my gratitude so overwhelming, I can do nothing but laugh. Thank You for the gift of laughter.


Bible Scriptures
August 2

“For you are my lamp, O Lord; the Lord shall enlighten my darkness.”
II Samuel 22;29

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.
Psalm 100:4


Daily Inspiration
August 2

Whether the friendships we have last a lifetime or only a brief period, they bring joy and make life a little better. Lord, may I be genuine and honest with the people in my life so that each relationship is a blessing.

As we help those in need or comfort those in trouble, God’s great love and divine glory is revealed to the world. Lord, I am Your servant. May others know more of You through me.


A Day At A Time
August 2

Reflection For The Day

When I begin to compare my life with the lives of others, I’ve begun to move toward the edge of the murky swamp of self-pity.  On the other hand, if I feel that what I’m doing is right and good, I won’t be so dependent on the admiration or approval of others.  Applause is well and good, but it’s not essential to my inner contentment.  I’m in The Program to get rid of self-pity, not to increase its power to destroy me.  Am I learning how others have dealt with their problems so I can apply  these lessons to my own life?

Today I Pray

God, make me ever mindful of where I came from and the new goals I have been encouraged to set.  May I stop playing to an audience for their approval, since I am fully capable of admiring or applauding myself if I feel I have earned it.  Help me make myself attractive from the inside, so it will show through, rather than adorning the outside for effect.  I am tired of stage make-up and costumes, God; help me be myself.

Today I Will Remember

Has anyone seen ME?


One More Day
August 2

No man is good for anything who has not some particle of obstinacy to use upon occasion.
–  Henry Ward Beecher

The word obstinate is quite often used to describe children who refuse to let go of an idea or behavior.  Although we may not want others to label us obstinate, it might be that obstinacy is a needed quality for us in the right situations.

Sometimes it is healthy for us to be stubborn, to hold steadfastly to what we want and who we are and where we want to be.  Faith in ourselves and obstinacy can be just what we need to survive a hard day.  And we do get by, not because we’re foolish, but because our maturity tells us to hold on to our sense of direction.

I will keep as much independence as I can.


One Day At A Time
August 2

“I know God will not give me anything I cannot handle.  I just wish He didn’t trust me so much.”
Mother Teresa

There was a time when I asked God to handle only the impossible. How dare I ask someone as busy and important as God to help me with a simple thing like food? After all, this was just a matter of using a little will-power … of pushing myself back from the table. Or so I had been told.

As I began to trust my Twelve Step program more and more, I found myself turning over to God the issues which triggered my compulsive eating. It was with great relief that I began to surrender my food and other problems to Him. It was with enormous gratitude that I realized what a gift it is to finally be able to give up control and put my life in my Higher Power’s hands.

One Day at a Time . . .
I relinquish control of my food.
I relinquish control of people.
I relinquish control of my life.

~ Mari


Elder’s Meditation of the Day – August 2

“When you get older and you are ready, your ancestors will show up to guide you.”

Many of us, when we are young, spend a portion of our lives in learning. Unfortunately, some of us spend this time learning the hard way. When we are young we sometimes think we know everything. Sometimes we do foolish things. As we get a little older, we realize we don’t know anything. This is when we become teachable. There is a saying that goes, when the student is ready, the teacher appears. We usually aren’t teachable unless we are ready. The ancestors are waiting and willing to help. When we are ready, many beautiful teachers start to come into our lives. Then we really start to grow and mature. We are ready for the spiritual lesson.

Creator, help me to become ready and teachable.


Journey To The Heart
August 2
What Do We Do When People Resent Us?

Even with our best efforts to detach, we may still have moments when the resentments and harsh feelings of another interfere with our peace. We react much as if someone were throwing darts or rocks at us. All the efforts in the world to ignore resentment may not help if we’re feeling the impact of each harsh feeling thrown at us.

These are some idea that might help.

1. Talk to the person. Reason things out. If that’s not possible, send them a box of blessings through prayer or thought.

2. Protect yourself emotionally and spiritually. One healing professional recommends these techniqies, which have helped me. You may have your own. Take some quiet time, close your eyes, and envision yourself encased in a large cube of mirrors. Totally protected, you can see out, but others can’t see in. Spiritually protect yourself by envisioning a flaming circle of fire around you, around the mirrors,too.

3. Look deep within yourself and find the emotional block, the unresolved issue, or the old belief that makes you vulnerable to that energy, to that person. Then release it. Heal it by acknowledging it, feeling it, and letting go.

4. Take a closer look. The pressure and resentment you’re feeling may be your own. Release them. Heal yourself.

Now thank that person for helping you heal, grow, and move along your path.


Today’s Gift
August 2

Happiness is a mental habit, a mental attitude, and if it is not learned and practiced in the present it is never experienced.
—Maxwell Maltz

If only I had a new bike, then I’d be happy. If only my family were more understanding, then I’d be happy. If only my hair were styled better. If only I had more friends. If only… Sometimes we begin to sound like a broken record when things go wrong, so certain that if the events and conditions of our lives were different, we’d be happy.

It’s an old and unfortunate habit that we look around outside ourselves for happiness. We can never be sure of it if we count on certain conditions to guarantee it. However, we can always be sure of happiness if we carry it with us wherever we go. The happiness habit can be developed, with practice, just as surely as good piano playing or accurate pitching. We can control our own thoughts. The decision to make them happy ones is ours to make.

Am I carrying my happiness within me right now?


The Language of Letting Go
August 2
In Between

Sometimes, to get from where we are to where we are going, we have to be willing to be in between.

One of the hardest parts of recovery is the concept of letting go of what is old and familiar, but what we don’t want, and being willing to stand with our hands empty while we wait for God to fill them.

This may apply to feelings. We may have been full of hurt and anger. In some ways, these feelings may have become comfortably familiar. When we finally face and relinquish our grief, we may feel empty for a time. We are in between pain and the joy of serenity and acceptance.

Being in between can apply to relationships. To prepare ourselves for the new, we need to first let go of the old. This can be frightening. We may feel empty and lost for a time. We may feel all alone, wondering what is wrong with us for letting go of the proverbial bird in hand, when there is nothing in the bush.

Being in between can apply to many areas of life and recovery. We can be in between jobs, careers, homes, or goals. We can be in between behaviors as we let go of the old and are not certain what we will replace it with. This can apply to behaviors that have protected and served us well all of our life, such as caretaking and controlling.

We may have many feelings going on when we’re in between: spurts of grief about what we have let go of or lost, and feelings of anxiety, fear, and apprehension about what’s ahead. These are normal feelings for the in between place. Accept them. Feel them. Release them.

Being in between isn’t fun, but it’s necessary. It will not last forever. It may feel like we’re standing still, but we’re not. We’re standing at the in between place. it’s how we get from here to there. It is not the destination.

We are moving forward, even when we’re in between.

Today, I will accept where I am as the ideal place for me to be. If I am in between, I will strive for the faith that this place is not without purpose, that it is moving me toward something good.


More Language Of Letting Go
August 2
Gratitude is larger than life

One day, a friend called me on the phone. He was going through a difficult time and wondering if and when things would ever turn around and improve. I knew he was in a lot of pain; I didn’t know then that he was considering suicide.

“If you could give a person only one thing to help them,” he said, “what would it be?”

I thought carefully about his question; then I replied, “It’s not one thing. It’s two: gratitude and letting go.” Gratitude for everything, not just the things we consider good or a blessing. And letting go of everything we can’t change.

A few years have passed since that day my friend called me on the phone. His life turned around. His financial problems have sorted themselves out. His career has shifted. The two very large problems he was facing at that time have both sorted themselves out. The actual process of facing and working through these problems became an important part of redirecting the course of his life.

Someone once asked the artist Georgia O’Keefe why her paintings magnified the size of small objects– like the petals on a flower– making them appear larger than life, and reduced the size of large objects– like mountains– making them smaller than life.

“Everyone sees the big things,” she said. “But these smaller things are so beautiful and people might not notice then if I didn’t emphasize them.”

That’s the way it is with gratitude and letting go. It’s easy to see the problems in our lives. They’re like mountains. But sometimes we overlook the smaller things; we don’t notice how truly beautiful they are.

Identify problems. Feel feelings.

But if you’re going to make anything bigger than life, let it be the power and simplicity of these two tools: gratitude and letting go.

God, teach me to use gratitude and letting go to reduce the size of my problems.


Touchstones Meditations For Men
August 2

Every closed eye is not sleeping, and every open eye is not seeing.
—Bill Cosby

Things are not always as they seem, even with us. Sometimes we get settled into a routine in our program. We are beyond the early struggles with detachment and sobriety. We have encountered many of the benefits of recovery. We attend our meetings and we know the words and ideas of the program. Although it all looks good on the outside, when we’re honest with ourselves, we know our spirit has gone flat. This is a serious situation and needs our attention.

When the inside feeling does not match our outside appearance, we need to become vulnerable again. We need to talk about how we really feel. Maybe little secrets we have been holding have deadened our program. Perhaps we haven’t admitted a pain in our life. Maybe we have been seduced by the power of looking good and have traded away the genuineness of being known by our friends. The renewal of this program is something we feel from within, and we can continue to be renewed.

I pray my eyes will be open to see and my program will stay alive and genuine.


Daily TAO
August 2

      Sun in heaven.
            Abundance in great measure.
      Supreme success
            In the midst of impermanence.

The midday sun in summer is the hottest and brightest of all. It symbolizes a zenith, a fulfillment, a period of great brightness. In the affairs of people, it stands for the combining of strength and clarity, which yields brilliance. When the times are in accord, abundance cannot be opposed.

The period of abundance is a time for vigorous action. Bright light shines not only on the good but on the bad as well. Therefore, when evil is revealed, all good people must oppose it. Pluck it out by the roots and energetically promote the good.

Abundance is a cause for celebration, but followers of Tao also remember to be cautious. No zenith can be preserved forever. In fact, the time of abundance just precedes an inevitable path of decline. Nothing in life is permanent. Therefore, the wise person enjoys and is gladdened by abundance. But while they take advantage of the time, they also prepare for what will follow.


In God’s Care
August 2

He always lets people do what they want.
~~Frank N.D. Buchman

We are born into the world with free will, and we can do whatever we please. But there are civil laws and, if we disobey them, we are at risk of losing our freedom.

The spiritual world also has laws; if we disregard them, we suffer consequences. The difference is that we are our own judges, and our consequences are personal. We frequently bump into these spiritual boundaries. God lets us over-step them at will, but what we do always catches up with us.

If we break spiritual laws, no one knows it better than we do because unhappiness surely follows. Selfishness, dishonesty, and an unloving attitude guarantee misery. Letting love direct our thoughts and actions assures our ultimate happiness.

    Today I can do as I please, but I choose to be happy – living within God’s spiritual boundaries.


Day By Day
August 2
    Developing Spritually

We read in the Big Book that no human power could have relieved our addiction – not ourselves, our spouse, the law, clergy, counselors, or friends. Through trial and error and many failures, we come to know that another human being is not the way. To recover, we need a spiritual program based on a power greater than ourselves.

To recover, we need a spiritual life, as developed by the fellowship and the Twelve Steps.

Am I growing spiritually?

    Higher Power, help me to see the importance of developing a spiritual life.

    I will work on my spiritual program today by…


Food For Thought
August 2

Most of us fight the temptation to be lazy, to get by with doing the minimum instead of our best. When we were children, we had parents and teachers who urged us on to greater efforts. As adults, we have to depend more on internal motivation and less on the exhortations of others.

Working for strictly material goods is not enough to provide the impetus and enthusiasm we need. It is our Higher Power who gives us our talents and abilities, and it is His plan for their use, which we seek to follow.

Doing less than the best we can is short-changing ourselves. We miss the satisfaction that comes from stretching as far as we can. We also miss the opportunity to exceed former limits. The more we do, the more we are able to do.

Motivation comes from our Higher Power and can only be received, as we are willing to act. Thinking and planning have their place, but it is action, which generates fresh enthusiasm.

May I live up to the maximum of my abilities today.


Daily Zen
August 2

Manjushri, all the Dharmas I teach are of one taste—the taste of detachment, liberation, and ultimate quiescence. What is taught by a good man or a good woman who has acquired the Single Deed Samadhi is also of one taste—the taste of detachment, liberation, and ultimate quiescence—and is unerringly consistent with the true Dharma.

– Buddha


Faith’s Check Book
August 2
Speak What He Teaches

Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.
(Exodus 4:12)

Many a true servant of the Lord is slow of speech, and when called upon to plead for his Lord, he is in great confusion lest he should spoil a good cause by his bad advocacy. In such a case it is well to remember that the Lord made the tongue which is so slow, and we must take care that we do not blame our maker. It may be that a slow tongue is not so great an evil as a fast one, and fewness of words may be more of a blessing than floods of verbiage. It is also quite certain that real saving power does not lie in human rhetoric, with its tropes, and pretty phrases, and grand displays. Lack of fluency is not so great a lack as it looks.

If God be with our mouth, and with our mind, we shall have something better than the sounding brass of eloquence or the tinkling cymbal of persuasion. God’s teaching is wisdom; His presence is power. Pharaoh had more reason to be afraid of stammering Moses than of the most fluent talker in Egypt; for what he said had power in it; he spoke plagues and deaths. If the Lord be with us in our natural weakness we shall be girt with supernatural power. Therefore, let us speak for Jesus boldly, as we ought to speak.


This Morning’s Readings
August 2

“Who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will.”
—Ephesians 1:11.

OUR belief in God’s wisdom supposes and necessitates that He has a settled purpose and plan in the work of salvation. What would creation have been without His design? Is there a fish in the sea, or a fowl in the air, which was left to chance for its formation? Nay, in every bone, joint, and muscle, sinew, gland, and blood-vessel, you mark the presence of a God working everything according to the design of infinite wisdom. And shall God be present in creation, ruling over all, and not in grace? Shall the new creation have the fickle genius of free will to preside over it when divine counsel rules the old creation? Look at Providence! Who knoweth not that not a sparrow falleth to the ground without your Father? Even the hairs of your head are all numbered. God weighs the mountains of our grief in scales, and the hills of our tribulation in balances. And shall there be a God in providence and not in grace? Shall the shell be ordained by wisdom and the kernel be left to blind chance. No; He knows the end from the beginning. He sees in its appointed place, not merely the corner-stone which He has laid in fair colours, in the blood of His dear Son, but He beholds in their ordained position each of the chosen stones taken out of the quarry of nature, and polished by His grace; He sees the whole from corner to cornice, from base to roof, from foundation to pinnacle. He hath in His mind a clear knowledge of every stone which shall be laid in its prepared space, and how vast the edifice shall be, and when the top-stone shall be brought forth with shoutings of “Grace! Grace! unto it.” At the last it shall be clearly seen that in every chosen vessel of mercy, Jehovah did as He willed with His own; and that in every part of the work of grace He accomplished His purpose, and glorified His own name.


This Evening’s Readings
August 2

“So she gleaned in the field until even.”
—Ruth 2:17.

LET me learn from Ruth, the gleaner. As she went out to gather the ears of corn, so must I go forth into the fields of prayer, meditation, the ordinances, and hearing the word to gather spiritual food. The gleaner gathers her portion ear by ear; her gains are little by little: so must I be content to search for single truths, if there be no greater plenty of them. Every ear helps to make a bundle, and every gospel lesson assists in making us wise unto salvation. The gleaner keeps her eyes open: if she stumbled among the stubble in a dream, she would have no load to carry home rejoicingly at eventide. I must be watchful in religious exercises lest they become unprofitable to me; I fear I have lost much already—O that I may rightly estimate my opportunities, and glean with greater diligence. The gleaner stoops for all she finds, and so must I. High spirits criticize and object, but lowly minds glean and receive benefit. A humble heart is a great help towards profitably hearing the gospel. The engrafted soul-saving word is not received except with meekness. A stiff back makes a bad gleaner; down, master pride, thou art a vile robber, not to be endured for a moment. What the gleaner gathers she holds: if she dropped one ear to find another, the result of her day’s work would be but scant; she is as careful to retain as to obtain, and so at last her gains are great. How often do I forget all that I hear; the second truth pushes the first out of my head, and so my reading and hearing end in much ado about nothing! Do I feel duly the importance of storing up the truth? A hungry belly makes the gleaner wise; if there be no corn in her hand, there will be no bread on her table; she labours under the sense of necessity, and hence her tread is nimble and her grasp is firm; I have even a greater necessity, Lord, help me to feel it, that it may urge me onward to glean in fields which yield so plenteous a reward to diligence.

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