My past holiday season in England brought me back to a very close feeling with my Higher Power. A presence I felt three times during my early sobriety. A presence that could be described as “Burning Bush Experiences.” Those experiences have kept me sober for many reasons. The main reason though is because I want to feel those experiences again.
It had been over 16 years since my last burning bush experience... yet I have never given up hoping that I would have that feeling of Wholeness and Oneness again. And I found it. What a wonderful feeling it was... a great location with great company.
It first happened in London. I was in a hotel, on the sixth floor, with a huge wall to wall, floor to ceiling window, overlooking the city. The skyscrapers and their lights filled the night time sky and below the River Thames with gulls swimming gracefully down it. So peaceful... so serene. I stood there, looking out the window and realized that none of this would have been possible if I was still drinking.
A smile filled my face... the Promises had come true. When I found sobriety, my therapist told me that in time my life would change and things I never dreamed of would become reality. At that time, I had no dreams. I had nothing. The furthest thing from my mind at that time was thinking or dreaming about flying across the Atlantic Ocean and spending time in London.
I thanked my Higher Power for this wonderful gift and I could imagine Her standing next to me, with a huge smile, pointing things out to me. I'm standing there with the eyes of a child listening to everything She had to say. It was wonderful. So wonderful that I said “Thank you.”
Thank you for not leaving me and thank you for giving me the strength to stay sober and to let Her dreams come alive in my journey through life.
The real experience though came three weeks later on my flight home. My first flight was eight hours. I flew into Chicago. About three hours into the flight we flew into some strong turbulence. The air hostesses were serving food when it hit. There tray went about a foot in the air and they struggled to keep their balance. Almost instantly the “fasten seat belt” sign came on and the stewardesses also made their way to their seats.
Everyone was quiet as we bounced along... at times it sounded like the plane was stretching... under my feet I could hear odd little bumps. The passengers were quiet as we sat in our own silence. I prayed as we bounced along for over an hour before we returned to calm weather.
At the end of the flight, the pilot greeted us as we left the plane... apologizing for the rough flight and hoping the rest of our day would be peaceful. All I said to him was “Thank you,” and shook his hand. He seemed shocked that I wasn't upset or angry... just grateful.
I went through customs and security and sat waiting for my last flight. I had a two hour lay over, which gave me time to reflect that moment in the sky.
If I had been drinking, I would have been bargaining with God. “Keep me alive and I'll do this or I'll do that.” Being sober, my mind was filled with gratitude. Thankful for helping me realize so many dreams. Thankful for the books I had written and the CDs that came to life. Thankful for an amazing vacation. Just pure gratitude and if that flight was to end tragically, it was Her will, not mine and that I was comfortable with that.
As I thought of what I felt on that flight... I felt whole and felt true gratitude for having this Oneness in my life. And that feeling made a great vacation perfect.