Dusty Coffee Cups

At a meeting last Sunday, I stepped out the ladies room and lingered at the announcement board, reading about upcoming spiritually-themed conferences.  One could spend every weekend participating in these events, and indeed many do.  I know that when I attend retreats or 12-step conferences, I always grow through reminders of how I used to live.  There’s nothing quite like the language of the heart.

As I stood there reading, my eyes wandered to the peg board wall of coffee mugs, a prerequisite for any meeting hall.  Practically all the pegs held a stained mug, some of which fastidious group members had stuffed with a paper towel, presumably after cleaning out the inside.

Then it hit me.  Many, if not most of those cups were covered in a light coat of dust.  Their owners had obviously not sipped coffee from them in quite some time.

A 12-step member not using his or her mug at a meeting could mean she’s off coffee (a really weird concept), or maybe using a Styrofoam cup.  But it more likely means she’s not even there.

That thought makes me sad.  Over the years–and even recently–I have been that person, the infrequent attender.

When I’m not in meetings, I can’t hear long-timers say things like:

“I might as well be drunk.”

“Remember the Golden Rule:  When doing an inventory, it’s best to compare your present with where you’ve come from, not to where you think you should be going.”

“We are all fish out of water.  God is the ocean in which we should throw ourselves.”

Plus, if I’m not going to meetings, how can I do the white glove test on all those coffee cups?

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