In Loving Memory of Vic

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Need to get to a meeting and speak to someone right away? Below is a list of online meetings and resources to help you find a meeting and fellowship.

+ Alcoholics Anonymous Online Meeting Finder
+ Overeaters Anonymous Meeting Finder
+ Narcotics Anonymous Meeting Finder
+ Al-Anon Online Meeting Finder

Daily Recovery Readings – August 5

Just For Today
August 5
The Shape Of Our Thoughts

“By shaping our thoughts with spiritual ideals, we are freed to become who we want to be.”
Basic Text, p.101

Addiction shaped our thoughts in its own way. Whatever their shape may once have been, they became misshapen once our disease took full sway over our lives. Our obsession with drugs and self molded our moods, our actions, and the very shape of our lives.

Each of the spiritual ideals of our program serves to straighten out one or another of the kinks in our thinking that developed in our active addiction. Denial is counteracted by admission, secretiveness by honesty, isolation by fellowship, and despair by faith in a loving Higher Power. The spiritual ideals we find in recovery are restoring the shape of our thoughts and our lives to their natural condition.

And what is that “natural condition”? It is the condition we truly seek for ourselves, a reflection of our highest dreams. How do we know this? Because our thoughts are being shaped in recovery by the spiritual ideals we find in our developing relationship with the God we’ve come to understand in NA.

No longer does addiction shape our thoughts. Today, our lives are being shaped by our recovery and our Higher Power.

Just for today: I will allow spiritual ideals to shape my thoughts. In that design, I will find the shape of my own Higher Power.


Daily Reflections
August 5

How persistently we claim the right to decide all by ourselves just what we shall think and just how we shall act.

If I accept and act upon the advice of those who have made the program work for themselves, I have a chance to outgrow the limits of the past. Some problems will shrink to nothingness, while others may require patient, well-thought-out action. Listening deeply when others share can develop intuition in handling problems which arise unexpectedly. It is usually best for me to avoid impetuous action.  Attending a meeting or calling a fellow A.A. member will usually reduce tension enough to bring relief to a desperate sufferer like me. Sharing problems at meetings with other alcoholics to whom I can relate, or privately with my sponsor, can change aspects of the positions in which I find myself. Character defects are identified and I begin to see how they work against me. When I put my faith in the spiritual power of the program, when I trust others to teach me what I need to do to have a better life, I find that I can trust myself to do what is necessary.


Twenty-Four Hours A Day
August 5
A.A. Thought For The Day

We in A.A. are offering a spiritual program. The fundamental basis of A.A. is belief in some Power greater than ourselves. This belief takes us off the center of the universe and allows us to transfer our problems to some power outside of ourselves. We turn to this Power for the strength we need to get sober and stay sober. We put our drink problem in God’s hands and leave it there. We stop trying to run our own life and seek to let God run it for us. Do I do my best to give spiritual help?

Meditation For The Day

God is your healer and your strength. You do not have to ask Him to come to you. He is always with you in spirit. At your moment of need He is there to help you. Could you know God’s love and His desire to help you, you would know that He needs no pleading for help. Your need is God’s opportunity. You must learn to rely on God’s strength whenever you need it. Whenever you feel inadequate to any situation, you should realize that the feeling of inadequacy is disloyalty to God.  Just say to yourself: I know that God is with me and will help me to think and say and do the right thing.

Prayer For The Day

I pray that I may never feel inadequate to any situation. I pray that I may be buoyed up by the feeling that God is with me.


As Bill Sees It
August 5
Hope Born >From Hopelessness, p. 217

Letter to Dr. Carl Jung:

“Most conversion experiences, whatever their variety, do have a common denominator of ego collapse at depth. The individual faces an impossible dilemma.

“In my case the dilemma had been created by my compulsive drinking, and the deep feeling of hopelessness had been vastly deepened by my doctor. It was deepened still more by my alcoholic friend when he acquainted me with your verdict of hopelessness respecting Rowland H.

“In the wake of my spiritual experience there came a vision of a society of alcoholics. If each sufferer were to carry the news of the scientific hopelessness of alcoholism to each new prospect, he might be able to lay every newcomer wide open to a transforming spiritual experience. This concept proved to be the foundation of such success as A.A. has since achieved.”

Grapevine, January 1963


Walk In Dry Places
August 5
Can We Fix Other People’s Problems?
Problem Solving

In Twelve Step work, we never run out of people who face serious problems. We’re often tempted to use our own expertise and resources to fix these problems for others.

This can be a mistake. It is always risky to undertake such assignments without a great deal of thought and understanding. Such attempts to fix others usually deal only with symptoms rather than causes.

Unless another person is totally helpless, the best course is to share experiences and knowledge with others, but to leave the problem solving to them. We should not encourage anyone to become dependent on us, nor should we set ourselves up as godlike individuals who have all the answers. We actually may be showing off instead of helping, and we may also be robbing others of the self-confidence and growth that come from fixing their own problems.

I’ll share my experiences and hope today, while refraining from trying to fix people. I don’t have answers for everybody, and it’s wrong to believe I do.


Keep It Simple
August 5

You’re only human, you’ve suppose to make mistakes.
—Billy Joel

Listen to the kind voice inside. Listen to the voice that tells you you’re good enough. Listen to the voice that tells you it’s okay to make mistakes—you’ll learn from them. Listen to the voice that tells you to go to your meeting even though it’s cold outside and you’re tired. Listen and let this voice become more and more clear. Listen, and welcome it in your heart. Talk with the voice.

Ask it questions and seek it out when you need a friend. This voice is your Higher Power. Listen as your Higher Power speaks to you. Listen as your Higher Power tells you what a great person you are.

Prayer for the Day: I pray to the gentle, loving voice that lives in me. Higher Power, You’ve always been kind to me. You’ve always loved me. Help me to remember You’re always there—inside me.

Action for the Day: I will take time from my busy day to listen and talk with the loving voice that lives inside me.


Each Day a New Beginning
August 5

The bottom line is that I am responsible for my own well-being, my own happiness. The choices and decisions I make regarding my life directly influence the quality of my days.
—Kathleen Andrus

There is no provision for blaming others in our lives. Who we are is a composite of the actions, attitudes, choices, decisions we’ve made up to now. For many of us, predicaments may have resulted from our decisions to not act when the opportunity arose. But these were decisions, no less, and we must take responsibility for making them.

We need not feel utterly powerless and helpless about the events of our lives. True, we cannot control others, and we cannot curb the momentum of a situation, but we can choose our own responses to both; these choices will heighten our sense of self and well-being and may well positively influence the quality of the day.

I will accept responsibility for my actions, but not for the outcome of a situation; that is all that’s requested of me. It is one of the assignments of life, and homework is forthcoming.


Alcoholics Anonymous
August 5
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.

About seven that evening my sponsor walked in; Charlie G. He didn’t seem too much at ease in the beginning. I guess I felt, and he sensed it, that I wanted him to hurry up and say what he had to say and get out. Anyhow, he started talking about himself. He started telling me how much trouble he had, and I said to myself, I wonder why this guy is telling me all his troubles. I have troubles of my own. Finally, he brought in the angle of whiskey. He continued to talk and I to listen. After he’d talked half an hour, I still wanted him to hurry up and get out so I could go and get some whiskey before the liquor store closed. But as he continued to talk, I realized that this was the first time i had met a person who had the same problems I did and who, I sincerely believe, understood me as an individual. I knew my wife didn’t, because I had been sincere in all my problems to her as well as to my mother and to my close friends, but the urge to take that drink was more powerful than anything else.

pp. 243-244


Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions
August 5

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.”

Our basic troubles are the same as everyone else’s, but when an honest effort is made “to practice these principles in all our affairs,” well-grounded A.A.’s seem to have the ability, by God’s grace, to take these troubles in stride and turn them into demonstrations of faith. We have seen A.A.’s suffer lingering and fatal illness with little complaint, and often in good cheer. We have sometimes seen families broken apart by misunderstanding, tensions, or actual infidelity, who are reunited by the A.A. way of life.

p. 114


Xtra Thoughts
August 5

Hope is the companion of power, and mother of success; for who so hopes strongly has within him the gift of miracles.
–Samuel Smiles

It is better to live one day wisely and reflectively than to live a hundred years in ignorance and indulgence.”

Without forgiveness life is governed…by an endless cycle of resentment and retaliation.
–Robert Assaglioli

Those who are free of resentful thoughts surely find peace.

Do not fear going forward slowly; fear only to stand still.
–Chinese Proverb

Wrinkles should merely indicate where the smiles have been.
–Mark Twain

And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.
–Abraham Lincoln

Sometimes even to live is an act of courage.


Father Leo’s Daily Meditation
August 5

“Thought makes the whole dignity of man; therefore endeavor to think well, that is the only morality.”
– Blaise Pascal

I think that human beings are very imitative creatures; we imitate clothes, hair styles, mannerisms and lifestyles. A man’s mind will be influenced by what he listens to and what he reads. And what we think is very important to sobriety.

Today I make an effort to examine my thinking and check it out with a sponsor or in a support group. I know that my dignity in sobriety is connected not only with what I do but also with my attitudes and thoughts — when my thinking begins to go crazy, I know I am in a dangerous place and I need to talk. God created me with the ability to think, therefore, I need to safeguard the information I put in my mind.

Let me learn to develop morality of mind.


Bible Scriptures
August 5

“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. Only let us live up to what we have already attained.”
Philippians 3:12-16

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.”
Colossians 3:16


Daily Inspiration
August 5

Whatever your problem, know that there is a solution. Lord, I trust in You always even to the point of a miracle.

God is always at work in your life. Notice His light on the events of your day. Lord, I sometimes look without really seeing. Help me to pause and notice.


One More Day
August 5

My handicap is part of me because I have had to make peace with it.  And in doing so, I’ve made peace with the less obvious handicaps of other people, like resentment, prejudice, hate.
–  Ginger Hutton

Living with an illness — whether our own or a loved one’s — has taught us that handicaps are not always physical.  We begin to understand fear is handicapping, prejudice is handicapping, inaccessibility to the community is handicapping.

More and more we are able to make peace with our own limitations and those of others, and as we do this we gain insight into which of them we have to accept and which we don’t.  We recognize there are some limitations we can do something about and others we must accept for the sake of our serenity.

The more tolerant I am, the less limited I become.


One Day At A Time
August 5

“Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding. Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.”
–Kahlil Gibran

There was much to be unhappy about in my childhood. There was also a lot of unhappiness in my adult life. Until I found The Recovery Group online, that unhappiness was the driving force in my life. That force robbed me of the ability to see and enjoy the many wonderful things that I had experienced. I wore a cloak of sadness, bitterness and resentment ~ I had been short-changed. It was the old glass-half-empty, glass-half-full story….poor me.

Being able to share the pain and unhappiness I have known has freed me from the power it had over me. Clearing away the wreckage is enabling me to see my part in some of the unhappiness I’ve known. It has enabled me to see more clearly that there is so much for which I can be grateful. It has enabled me to see that I truly AM the person of value which I had represented myself to be towards others. I am integrating that person into the “unacceptable” being I carried within. I have seen others here endure challenge, pain and hardships with so much grace. I have learned that pain is, indeed, inevitable. I have the choice whether to dwell on the pain morbidly, or to instead focus on the joy of this day.

One day at a time…
I will live in the joy of this day and I will strive to share this wonderful gift of self-acceptance to others in program.

~ Karen A.


Elder’s Meditation of the Day – August 5  

“It is a paradox in the contemporary world that in our desire for peace we must willingly give ourselves to struggle.”
–Linda Hogan, CHICKASAW

The Grandfathers have taught us about sacrifice.
We have been taught to pray for the people in a pitiful way.
Struggle and conflict is neither good nor bad, it just is.
Everything that grows experiences conflict.
When the deer is born it is through conflict.
When the seed first grows, it is through conflict.
Conflict precedes clarity.
Everything has the seasons of growth.
Recognize – acknowledge – forgive and change.
All of these things are done through conflict.

Great Spirit, give me the courage today to see that struggle and conflict are here to teach me lessons that are a gift from you.


Journey To The Heart
August 5
Respect Life

The message came softly, during the sweat lodge ceremony I went to in Sedona. At the end of the evening, the shaman thanked the rocks– for glowing with heat, bringing their passion to the evening, symbolizing passion in our lives. She thanked the wood that created the fire that heated the rocks– for giving its fire so that we could have warmth, so that we could celebrate the event. She thanked the water for cooling our throats. And she thanked God for life, for each of our lives, for our lifetimes on this planet.

Respect life. All of it. The world moves so fast, it’s so easy to forget to respect all that lives, all that is. We get so harried, so hurried, we take life for granted. Take time to remember that all life is sacred. All that is part of creation is a creation, and the same life force moves through us all. With all its trials, tests, worries, heartaches, and sometimes heartbreaks, life is a gift.

A few short years on this planet, then we are gone. Do not spend it worrying about all that has gone wrong. You will miss the lesson. You will miss the gift, the gift of life.

Respect life. All of it. Respect and honor your own.


Today’s Gift
August 5

There is surely a piece of divinity in us, something that was before the elements…
—Sir Thomas Browne

One definition of divinity in the dictionary is “supreme excellence.” It also means “god-like character” and “divine nature.”

Doesn’t that describe someone we love? When we are in love with someone, we see only the best of that person – it’s impossible to see anything else. That person is “divine,” we say, perfect for us, because he or she loves us and is lovable.

Each one of us has a part that is divine. We see it occasionally in others, and they see it in us when they love us. We can draw on that divine part of every person for strength and hope and courage and faith and love. There is wonderful, mysterious beauty in all of us, even when we behave badly.

What divinity do I see in those around me right now?


The Language of Letting Go
August 5
Honesty in Relationships

We can be honest and direct about our boundaries in relationships and about the parameters of a particular relationship.

Perhaps no area of our life reflects our uniqueness and individuality in recovery more than our relationships. Some of us are in a committed relationship. Some of us are dating. Some of us are not dating. Some of us are living with someone. Some of us wish we were dating. Some of us wish we were in a committed relationship. Some of us get into new relationships after recovery. Some of us stay in the relationship we were in before we began recovering.

We have other relationships too. We have friendships. Relationships with children, with parents, with extended family. We have professional relationships – relationships with people on the job.

We need to be able to be honest and direct in our relationships. One area we can be honest and direct about is the parameters of our relationships. We can define our relationships to people, an idea written about by Charlotte Kasl and others, and we can ask them to be honest and direct about defining their vision of the relationship with us.

It is confusing to be in relationships and not know where we stand – whether this is on the job, in a friendship, with family members, or in a love relationship. We have a right to be direct about how we define the relationship – what we want it to be. But relationships equal two people who have equal rights. The other person needs to be able to define the relationship too. We have a right to know, and ask. So do they.

Honesty is the best policy.

We can set boundaries. If someone wants a more intense relationship than we do, we can be clear and honest about what we want, about our intended level of participation. We can tell the person what to reasonably expect from us, because that is what we want to give. How the person deals with that is his or her issue. Whether or not we tell the person is ours.

We can set boundaries and define friendships when those cause confusion.

We can even define relationships with children, if those relationships have gotten sticky and exceeded our parameters. We need to define love relationships and what that means to each person. We have a right to ask and receive clear answers. We have a right to make our own definitions and have our own expectations. So does the other person.

Honesty and directness is the only policy. Sometimes we don’t know what we want in a relationship. Sometimes the other person doesn’t know. But the sooner we can define a relationship, with the other person’s help, the sooner we can decide on an appropriate course of conduct for ourselves.

The clearer we can become on defining relationships, the more we can take care of ourselves in that relationship. We have a right to our boundaries, wants, and needs. So does the other person. We cannot force someone to be in a relationship or to participate at a level we desire if he or she does not want to. All of us have a right not to be forced.

Information is a powerful tool, and having the information about what a particular relationship is – the boundaries and definitions of it – will empower us to take care of ourselves in it.

Relationships take a while to form, but at some point we can reasonably expect a clear definition of what that relationship is and what the boundaries of it are. If the definitions clash, we are free to make a new decision based on appropriate information about what we need to do to take care of ourselves.

Today, I will strive for clarity and directness in my relationships. If I now have some relationships that are murky and ill defined, and if I have given them adequate time to form, I will begin to take action to define that relationship. God, help me let go of my fears about defining and understanding the nature of my present relationships. Guide me into clarity – clear, healthy thinking. Help me know that what I want is okay. Help me know that if I can’t get that from the other person, what I want is still okay, but not possible at the present time. Help me learn to not forego what I want and need, but empower me to make appropriate, healthy choices about where to get that.


More Language Of Letting Go
August 5
Stop fighting it

I go to the refrigerator and open the door. The food in it smells bad, the air feels warm. I decide that the power must have gone off for a while and close the door. My friend comes over later that day and opens the refrigerator, to get himself a soda.

“Whew,” he says. “There’s something wrong with your refrigerator.”

“No, the power just went off for a while,” I said.

I don’t want anything to be wrong with the refrigerator. I’m busy with too many other things. I don’t want to take the time to call a repair service, be interrupted when they come to the house, then be interrupted again and again, as they come back to fix it.

Later that night, I open the refrigerator again. I look for a moment, then slam the door shut. Dang, it is broken, I think. I take all the frustration about the inconvenience and use the energy to surrender to the problem, then get it fixed.

There’s a difference between fighting with a problem and pushing against the resistance it offers in our lives. When we fight with the alcoholic to sober up, we’re fighting with the problem. When we get hurt and angry enough to push against it, we use that frustration to motivate us to surrender, then go to an Al-Anon meeting, or a therapist, and begin to learn how to detach and take care of ourselves. Life gets better. Instead of fighting with the problem, we’re pushing against it and using the resistance to move down our path.

Are you fighting with a problem in your life right now, instead of using the resistance it offers as a challenge to grow? Instead of depleting your energy fighting with that problem, surrender. Then use the frustration and upset as motivation to assert yourself and take positive action.

God, thank you for the resistance in my life. Help me stop fighting with it and to use that energy to truly solve the problem.


Touchstones Meditations For Men
August 5

The whole problem is to establish communication with one’s self.
—E. B. White

We are like many-faceted gemstones. Each side represents a different aspect of us. We have our emotional sides with different feelings and responses. We have our competencies and strengths, hopes and desires, destructiveness and negativity, self-doubts and resentments. We also possess a drive for power and knowledge, a desire to serve, and a wish to connect with others.

Our spiritual masculinity requires that we know our many sides. We need a working relationship with our thoughts and feelings so they can be appreciated, accepted, and understood. When we tell our story in a meeting, we let others know us, and we get to know ourselves better. When we are spontaneous in what we say or do, we communicate with ourselves. We discover ourselves through meditation, journal writing, playfulness, physical activity, and conversations with others. In that way we become more honest.

Today, I will use my lines of communication with myself and become more self-accepting and more honest.


Daily TAO
August 5

      They call her useless
      And yet push for achievement.
            “I want a baby.”
      They bicker between themselves,
      And reproach her for being distant.
            “My friends have so much fun.”
      They dwell on money,
      And indenture her to loyalty.
            “I can’t stand this every day.”
                  She is innocent.
                  They have ambitions.

There was a girl who was both a good student and a good athlete. Her family did not find that to be enough. They pushed her to spend all her time studying or practicing for her next sport competition. Finally, she could stand it no further. She ran away.

Her family was firmly convinced it was a kidnapping.

In so many families, a girl is told how useless she is. Is it any wonder she gets pregnant? A boy is told how lazy he is. Is it any wonder he rebels as an act of individuality?

When parents demand without understanding, they thwart development. Forcing children to fulfill parental ambitions destroys individuality. Before parents blame their children, they should first look to how their daughters and sons were raised.


Food For Thought
August 5
Future Phobia

Irrational worry about the future may have triggered eating binges before we found the OA program. Learning to live one day at a time is a necessary part of controlling our disease. Our instinct for security must not be allowed to run riot any more than the other instincts we are learning to control.

Trusting our Higher Power today ensures that we will trust Him tomorrow also. We do not know what the future holds for us, but we are assured of God’s continuing care and support. To entertain irrational worries about what might or might not happen is to doubt the Power, which is restoring us to sanity. When we take Step Three without reservations, we give up our crippling anxieties.

We do not expect that life will be a rose garden in the future, any more than it is right now. There are problems and disappointments and pains to deal with. What we do expect is the strength to cope with whatever our Higher Power gives us, realizing that the difficult experiences are often the ones from which we learn the most.

May faith in You blot out fear.


Daily Zen
August 5

Mountains on all sides
Rivers looped around it
There’s no trail to my hut.
When the dragon elephant approaches
A path opens all by itself
In the hour of soaring talk
Neither has to think of meeting
The other half way
Though all of you keep
Wandering into yes and no.

– Muso Soseki (1275-1351)


Faith’s Check Book
August 5
Law in the Heart

The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide.
(Psalm 37:31)

Put the law into the heart, and the whole man is right. This is where the law should be; for then it lies, like the tables of stone in the ark, in the place appointed for it. In the head it puzzles, on the back it burdens, in the heart it upholds.

What a choice word is here used, “the law of his God”! When we know the Lord as our own God His law becomes liberty to us. God with us in covenant makes us eager to obey His will and walk in His commands. Is the precept my Father’s precept? Then I delight in it.

We are here guaranteed that obedient-hearted man shall be sustained in every step that he takes. He will do that which is right, and he shall therefore do that which is wise. Holy action is always the most prudent, though it may not at the time seem to be so, We are moving along the great highroad of God’s providence and grace when we keep to the way of His law. The Word of God has never misled a single soul yet; its plain directions to walk humbly, justly, lovingly, and in the fear of the Lord are as much words of wisdom to make our way prosperous as rules of holiness to keep our garments clean. He walks surely who walks righteously.


This Morning’s Readings
August 5

“We know that all things work together for good to them that love God.”
—Romans 8:28.

UPON some points a believer is absolutely sure. He knows, for instance, that God sits in the stern-sheets of the vessel when it rocks most. He believes that an invisible hand is always on the world’s tiller, and that wherever providence may drift, Jehovah steers it. That re-assuring knowledge prepares him for everything. He looks over the raging waters and sees the spirit of Jesus treading the billows, and he hears a voice saying, “It is I, be not afraid.” He knows too that God is always wise, and, knowing this, he is confident that there can be no accidents, no mistakes; that nothing can occur which ought not to arise. He can say, “If I should lose all I have, it is better that I should lose than have, if God so wills: the worst calamity is the wisest and the kindest thing that could befall to me if God ordains it.” “We know that all things work together for good to them that love God.” The Christian does not merely hold this as a theory, but he knows it as a matter of fact. Everything has worked for good as yet; the poisonous drugs mixed in fit proportions have worked the cure; the sharp cuts of the lancet have cleansed out the proud flesh and facilitated the healing. Every event as yet has worked out the most divinely blessed results; and so, believing that God rules all, that He governs wisely, that He brings good out of evil, the believer’s heart is assured, and he is enabled calmly to meet each trial as it comes. The believer can in the spirit of true resignation pray, “Send me what thou wilt, my God, so long as it comes from Thee; never came there an ill portion from Thy table to any of Thy children.”

“Say not my soul, ‘From whence can God relieve my care?
Remember that Omnipotence has servants everywhere.
His method is sublime, His heart profoundly kind,
God never is before His time, and never is behind.'”


This Evening’s Readings
August 5

“Shall your brethren go to war, and shall ye sit here?”
—Numbers 32:6.

KINDRED has its obligations. The Reubenites and Gadites would have been unbrotherly if they had claimed the land which had been conquered, and had left the rest of the people to fight for their portions alone. We have received much by means of the efforts and sufferings of the saints in years gone by, and if we do not make some return to the church of Christ by giving her our best energies, we are unworthy to be enrolled in her ranks. Others are combating the errors of the age manfully, or excavating perishing ones from amid the ruins of the fall, and if we fold our hands in idleness we had need be warned, lest the curse of Meroz fall upon us. The Master of the vineyard saith, “Why stand ye here all the day idle?” What is the idler’s excuse? Personal service of Jesus becomes all the more the duty of all because it is cheerfully and abundantly rendered by some. The toils of devoted missionaries and fervent ministers shame us if we sit still in indolence. Shrinking from trial is the temptation of those who are at ease in Zion: they would fain escape the cross and yet wear the crown; to them the question for this evening’s meditation is very applicable. If the most precious are tried in the fire, are we to escape the crucible? If the diamond must be vexed upon the wheel, are we to be made perfect without suffering? Who hath commanded the wind to cease from blowing because our bark is on the deep? Why and wherefore should we be treated better than our Lord? The firstborn felt the rod, and why not the younger brethren? It is a cowardly pride which would choose a downy pillow and a silken couch for a soldier of the cross. Wiser far is he who, being first resigned to the divine will, groweth by the energy of grace to be pleased with it, and so learns to gather lilies at the cross foot, and, like Samson, to find honey in the lion.

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