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It was to be John’s 20th year celebration of sobriety.  The cake was laid out and nicely prepared.  There were wrapped gifts and trinkets on the table to commemorate this milestone in a “former” addict’s life.  All was prepared except, John.  You see, John relapsed the night before, just for a moment, but was brave enough to confess it to the group, in tears.  People were stunned and a great silence fell over the room.  No one knew what to say.  Then the meeting continued as if nothing happened except the cake was divided during the break as if it were a normal part of the program, no celebration, no giving of gifts.  There was nothing to celebrate.

I knew then there was something grossly in error with AA/NA/CA.  I thought John was very courageous to admit, at this particular meeting, the truth about himself.  When others could only hope to have counted the years he had, he was treated as if it didn’t matter at all.  What was even more disheartening was, he would now begin at day “one” again, as if those years achieved had no value at all!

I am so grateful my sobriety is due to Christ’s forgiveness and help and isn’t depended upon my ability to count; and should I fail, even today, I don’t begin to count over again, no, it just picks up from where it left off.

I’m so glad in terms of counting, it only matters I “count” to God.