Toledo, Ohio is my home now and I’m grateful to my Higher Power for bringing me here. I must say there still are some moments though where I really do miss living near Boston, Massachusetts and the other night was one of them. But ironically, what transpired that night was probably meant to happen exactly as it did because in the end it showed me another example of how God works in mysterious ways.
It all began with me taking a relative newcomer in sobriety to a recovery meeting last Saturday evening. This wasn’t a normal meeting I was taking him to though. I had decided I wanted to go hear the lead speaker at the Ohio State Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) Convention, which was being hosted here in Toledo this past weekend.
Back in Boston, I usually annually attended the Massachusetts version of this conference with many of my recovery friends and I was very interested in seeing how Ohio’s was. Regrettably, given my lack of income in recent years, I’ve only been able to attend the lead speaker meetings during any of these conventions for quite awhile now. In Massachusetts, while it’s hoped that people would pay the registration fee even if they just came for those speaker meetings, there was always an unwritten rule that no one was ever turned away even if they hadn’t paid. I quickly learned on Saturday this wasn’t the case in Ohio though.
As I prepared to walk through the meeting doors with my newly sober friend who had only a few months under his belt, we were promptly told we couldn’t enter because we hadn’t registered. Even after I informed them of my friend being newly sober, I was told that Ohio’s AA convention didn’t have any unwritten rule like Massachusetts did. The bottom line was that if you hadn’t paid, you couldn’t attend anything including the lead speaker meetings. While I’m not sure if Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith would have approved of this policy, especially when a newcomer was involved, I immediately practiced acceptance with it all and apologized to my friend for not knowing. After I got back in my car to take him home though, my evening began to get even more interesting.
I suddenly received an urgent message on my phone from another local friend. He had been in a major accident where his car was completely totaled and towed away. Unfortunately he also had no way of getting home, which was close to twenty-five minutes away. So after I got my newcomer friend back to his home, I immediately went to help this other friend out. The fact is I know I’d want the same for me if I were ever in the same type of situation. Oddly enough, once I had him safely in my car and we were on our way, it started to rain. He then smiled gratefully and told me his Higher Power must have been working for him that day because I had been the only one who had answered and been available to help him out.
So while I may have been initially sad and a little embarrassed that I hadn’t gotten my newly sober friend in to see the lead speaker at that convention on Saturday, it seems as if my Higher Power had other plans for me that night. I guess that ago old saying continues to prove true in my life, as this was yet another example of how God really does work in mysterious ways.
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson