In the first episode of The Grant, a series of short talks by Gene Duffy, Gene talks about cost of Alcoholics Anonymous.
We all know Alcoholics Anonymous is a free program, but that doesn’t mean the program requires nothing of its members whatsoever. There is no cost for attendance, but there is a cost of attention, effort, and labor. As Gene explains, there is a reason the Serenity Prayer uses the phrase “God grant me” instead of “God give me”:
“When you give somebody something, there are no conditions attached to it, like a birthday present or a Christmas present. Grant means to give to somebody but it’s only theirs to keep as long as they adhere to a certain condition. . .
And the program of Alcoholics Anonymous is exactly like that. It is NOT a free program. [Sobriety] is not something you just sit on a stool waiting for God to trot by and flip over to you. There’s a lot of effort required in the program of Alcoholics Anonymous, not only to get but to keep it.”