Today my 12-Step home group had it's bi-annual elections to fill all of its service positions for the coming six months.
I don't know what came over me but my hand accidentally shot up when they asked if anyone wanted to co-chair the Friday morning beginner's meeting.
This obligates me to be there, every other Friday, from July 1st through December 31st. Don't bother doing the math, that's 13 times. I have a co-chair, a very nice young woman, who'll be doing the other 13 Fridays.
This'll be the 3rd or 4th time I've co-chaired this meeting since I started attending meetings there, in March of 2000.
I don't get a lot of opportunity to be "of service" to others in my 12-Step Program because of the amount of commuting I do. Hence my comment in my bio about spending "too much time" on the New Jersey Turnpike every day. Nevertheless, Service Work is a very important part of recovery, especially for somebody like me, who has a few years of sobriety under his skirt.
I love chairing the Friday meeting. It's the biggest meeting of the week, attendance-wise. Also, it's a beginner's meeting, so we try to keep to beginner's topics, such as "how to avoid getting drunk over the weekend" or "dealing with your parents without resorting to dealing with your dealer."
We tend to get quite a few people who are counting days (from 1 to 90) in recovery at this meeting. We always let them share first. We old-timers keep our traps shut and absolutely love it when the newcomers share. Because their shares are almost always loaded with pain, it serves to remind us of how much pain we were in when we first got clean and sober... and vividly recalling that pain is important if we hope to stay clean and sober in the future.
It's also beneficial to the newcomer to share that pain because it actually helps to lessen it. Whenever people share at 12-Step meetings, everybody wins. The newcomers will benefit from listening to the experience, strength and hope of the old-timers, with whom they strongly identify. To hear how they managed to survive that pain, and to work through their painful issues, using the 12-Steps of recovery, gives the newcomer hope and faith in the program and will, eventually, give them a faith in a Power Greater than Themselves.
I am always humbled whenever I'm selected for service. I'm humbled that my co-recoverers have faith in my ability to lead. I'm also reminded of our Second Tradition which states:
"For our group purpose there is but one ultimate authority—a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience. Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern."
I hope I can keep that in mind from July to December.