Wait:  To stop, to standby.


Wait:  To serve, to attend.


WAIT:  Anagram for  Why Am I Talking?


Yeah, why am I talking?  Good question.  Don’t wait.  See the end of the article as we alkies like to do.  Look at the back of the book first.  Find out how it turns out. 



This morning at the Cabin Meeting, our speaker gave one of the best answers to that critical question we sometimes hear from sponsees, “What about this ‘God thing?’” The Third Step is all about God and how am I going to turn my will and my life over to this ‘God thing?’” “How’s that going to help me stop drinking?”



Well!  Here’s an answer for you.  “Wait until we get there.” Wait. There’s two steps ahead of that Third Step. 



The world is round so we don’t see the full panorama of our lives.  If we knew all we had to do in this lifetime, we’d probably drink.  And therein lies one of our problems as alcoholics.  We want to be in control.  We want to know all the answers ahead of time and know the ending so we feel safe. 



Waiting is not comfortable. Seems like the human species is not happy being uncomfortable.  Even overnight mail doesn’t feel comfortable.  We want lightning speed results with mega-giga-bytes to boost them along. 



As we wait in the hallways of life, it’s not comfortable there either. We want a door to open just to relieve the anxiety of some seeming inevitable, fearful, negative unknown on its way. Learning how to live out the examination of “wait and see”  takes practice.  Practice equals progress, not perfection. 



To wait, meaning to serve, holds high promise for us as the Big Book uses “Wait” 3 times in the chapters, Working with Others, and a couple of times in To The Wives. To Wait is key when working with others, whether as a sponsor, a wife, a husband, or anyone else.


“The primary fact that we fail to recognize is our total inability

to form a true partnership with another human being.”     Page 53. BB

Maybe that inability comes from the inability to be patient, to “wait and see.” When we wait at a stoplight, we can use the time to breathe, to practice mindful breathing, and go into an 11th Step.  Sometimes a big, fat exhalation provides the means to come into current time and enjoy the life around us, the one we normally speed by; that million-mile an hour trajectory from Point A to Point B we think is so important.



It’s progress when I can WAIT and examine Why Am I Talking?  Why am I doing what I’m doing?  What is the motive?  “Examine your motives,” my sponsor says.  Even simpler, “You’re either moving toward a drink or away from one.”  Before taking an alluring action, words like these save me from going off the road and into the drink.  So to speak.



We can wait as does the poet, John Milton: On His Blindness.



Here was one of the world’s greatest poets who could no longer see. And could no longer write.  Someone else scribed for him.  In the dark and sightless world, Milton summoned the strength to say, “They also serve who only stand and wait.” Even waiting has value.  So, for those who are new and believe you are not contributing enough, as we so often hear, you are serving.  Showing up regularly provides great service in ways great and small; visible and invisible.  We know the Program works when you maintain your chair and wait for the opening prayers.



To wait on one side and to serve on the other is the natural ebb and flow of Alcoholics Anonymous. It’s a dance we get to enjoy with one another, day-by-day, one day at a time. 


Published September 1, 2023:   https://aasfmarin.org/wait