“Simplicity, Humility, Service”
By Vince Di Pasquale
March has many names but the most favorite one is March Madness. This title is given to the NCAA Basketball tournament held each year. I would like to give this title to the journey of life. Like the uncertain changes of this month, life is a journey you will never be able to figure out. Just when you think you have, the game changes. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined where I would be today. Even as I write this, I can’t even fathom where the journey of life will take me.
Every day I need to reflect on a small piece of literature from AA that says, “Yesterday, today and tomorrow”. Each day I must come to the acceptance that yesterday is over, it’s now part of my history. If I can be at peace with it, hopefully I will be able to learn from the lessons of the past. A long time ago God gave me two wonderful teachers, my Mom and Dad. Today I reflect on both of them with a spirit of gratitude. I am aware today that they were God’s messengers to me. They had their faults and their strengths which they passed on to me. Mom with all of her control and fear issues, which today I see in me. They can be looked upon as either negative or positive. Today I see them as healthy issues that help me have the courage to face my fears and open my heart and mind to be able to discover my talents. I know that Mom is still pushing me to move forward on my journey. She was a lady of strength and craziness. I was able to get through some really crazy situations in life because of her support. You truly are one of my guardian angels.
Dad taught me the gift of simplicity, humility and service. Even though he had a limited education, he truly was an example that real knowledge doesn’t come from books, but that life experiences are the great teachers. Some of Dad’s simple sayings reflect in my mind every day.
When I see the slogans of AA, I realize that Dad understood them much better than me. He would always say, “You don’t know what it is to get up until you fall down”. Making mistakes are part of the journey, if you are open to learn from them. “Always remember that things could be worse”. It reminds me of the saying, “But for the grace of God”. Stay away from judging others, they are on their journey. Always remember each day to pray for them, wish them well and give them to God. Dad’s other famous saying was truly a lesson in the spirit of humility. “When you think you are in charge, remember, the only thing you are in charge of is the outhouse”. It’s a place you bring your crap to so you can let it go. He always reminded me that God is in charge. The third step of the program reminds me to let go and let God. Thank you God for letting me be born to some wonderful people called family.
Tomorrow is the unknown as it should be. Just try to be open to the spirit and we will all be led. Try not to face tomorrow with fear. Look upon it as an adventure.
That leaves us with the adventure of today. The old timers in AA always taught me, “check your ego at God’s door”, “let God’s spirit be your guide”, “keep it simple” and “enjoy the moment and be a person of service to each person you meet for each of us are God’s children.” They truly taught me the spirit of the 2nd, 3rd, 11th and 12th steps: Come to believe that you are being guided, remember who is in charge, be open to God’s will, not ours and finally share your gifts with others. The motto of service is, “When you share your gifts with others you will receive back a hundred fold.”
As we try to live this month of change, let’s try to face it with the understanding that all of our struggles will hopefully give us the strength to be open to learn from them. During this month, let’s try to see that March madness simply means, live on life’s terms knowing that God is in charge. Let’s all have the courage, humility and openness to face change with the spirit of learning. We are all people on God’s journey. Live each day like it is your last. Learn from yesterday, face tomorrow when it comes, keep it simple and “Live on day at a time”. That’s all we have is just ONE day. Thank you God for the gift of today, may I be open to your will.
May God Bless and guide all of us during this month of change and growth.