From the April 1979 magazine.

Our Primary Purpose

Around the Tables

AROUND THE TABLES, I have learned, not only by shared experience, but also through AA's Eleventh Step, that God's will for me is not to take the first drink. This is so obvious, it often escapes me--indeed, my primary purpose must be to remain sober and carry that message of hope. Growth has expanded this humble concept to include a course of conduct that precludes the first drink. Quite certainly, if I pursued a lifestyle that would result in my picking up the first drink, my conduct would be contrary to God's will for me.

Having achieved this knowledge of God's will for me, I must enhance the way of life that keeps me away from the first drink. AA's years of experience show emphatically that meetings are absolutely essential in order to avoid the first drink. Thus, for me, God's will is that I should attend AA meetings. Prayer and experience have taught me that I need more than three meetings a week. The more meetings I attend, the more chance I have of tuning up my spiritual life. I put the meetings of my home group first; rarely have I missed a meeting at my home group, unless there has been a "First Things First" reason, such as going out of town on business. There are other "first things" that take precedence over meetings other than at my home group--but these are in the nature of practicing these principles in all my affairs. I think God's will for me is to attend meetings within the "First Things First" principle, which is always hinged on the first thing in my life--my sobriety.

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