“Daily Getting Into The Wheelbarrow” (Book Excerpt 7)


Dare-devil on a Rope. Blondin (Francois Gravelet) pushes a wheelbarrow across a tightrope over Niagra Falls. Original artwork from Look and Learn Book 1982

There is a story about a guy who accidentally drives his car over the edge of a cliff. As the car is falling to its destruction he manages to open the door, leap out, and cling to a rocky ledge, watching his car burst into flames as it crashes to earth below. Barely hanging on, slipping and slowly losing his grip, he cries out to God, “Help! Save me!” His cries are muffled by a loud, clear voice, “Let go and I’ll catch you!” He can’t believe it! The last thing he wants to do is let go and experience the same fate as his car. He keeps crying, and keeps hearing God’s voice, “Let go, and I’ll catch you!” The man then cries out, “Is there anyone else up there?”

“Letting go and letting God.” Easy to say, difficult to do. It reminds me of another story that helped take me to the next level in what it means to walk the talk, practice what I preach and live out my faith in a greater way each day.

A world-class tightrope walker announces that he’s going to stretch a steel cable from the American to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls and walk across it. Thousands of people gather at the Falls. The acrobat, mounting the cable, yells out to the crowd, “How many of you believe I can walk across and back safely?” They all yell out, “We believe you can do it! We have faith in you!”

The tightrope walker goes across and comes back safely. The crowd cheers wildly. He does the same, pushing a wheelbarrow across and back, with the mist rising up perilously, as the crowd roars more loudly in approval. Then he yells to the crowd, “I want to walk across again pushing and balancing this wheelbarrow! You all believe I can do it! You all have faith in me that I can accomplish this great feat, but I have a more important question for all of you. Which one of you is going to be the first to get into the wheelbarrow?”

It’s easy to talk the talk, but not so easy to walk the talk. It’s easy to say it, but we are called to “get in the wheelbarrow,” putting our faith and our lives in the hands of our Higher Power. We are called to let that Power truly have control over our life and death and our life after life! The good news is that we are powerless to do that, but our Higher Power has all power and gives us the strength and desire to daily get into the wheelbarrow, placing ourselves into His hands that hold us, or at least that want to hold us.

 I have often wanted to add to this special story of faith. When the tightrope walker cries out to the crowd asking who will be the first to get into the wheelbarrow, I envision a child’s hand shooting up into the air and hearing a voice saying “I will!” A little girl comes running to the tightrope walker and jumps into the wheelbarrow!  I’m not sure where her parents are, but perhaps they were right there, seeing her childlike faith and encouraging her.  One of my favorite phrases is “Growing up to be a child.”  Not a childish faith, but a childlike faith that is willing to jump into the wheelbarrow simply because she believes in the one pushing it!

We all know and love the poem “Footprints” because of the part that speaks to a time when we had no power, believing it was then that God carried us. How are these car-crash and Niagara Falls stories any different? Whether we are completely helpless, hanging on by a thread, or when we need to traverse a huge tight rope in our lives, it all begins with using the power we’re given to let go and let God carry us.


Your talk talks….And your walk talks….

But your walk talks…Louder than your talk talks.


“The Twelve Promises” (Book Excerpt 6)


        I was visiting with a friend today when she commented that although she knows I’ve been growing in recovery over the years, she said that I seemed more at peace and focused now than I have ever been. I responded quickly and easily, “It’s the Promises at work.” I mentioned a few of them to her and she said, “Are those in your book?” She went and got her book and I read them to her. Simple, beautiful, powerful. I should add the adjective “miraculous” as well. The outcome of active recovery is the living out of the promises, by the grace of God, or one’s Higher Power. I can’t fully explain it, but that’s just, the way, it is!

From pages 34-35, here are the 12 Promises of AA:

*The 12 Promises of AA

 If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are halfway through…

  1. We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.
  2. We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.
  3. We will comprehend the word serenity.
  4. We will know peace.
  5. No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others.
  6. That feeling of uselessness and self-pity will disappear.
  7. We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows.
  8. Self-seeking will slip away.
  9. Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change.
  10. Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us.
  11. We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.
  12. We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.

Are these extravagant promises? We think not. They are being fulfilled among us, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.

 From The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, Fourth Edition, pp. 83-84. Copyright © AA World Services, Inc. (Reprinted with permission)


Healing Affirmations



Healthy Self Talk can be one of the pieces of our healing puzzle and healthy personal growth for anyone. I was blessed years ago by Melodie Beattie’s book “The Language of Letting Go,” a yearly compilation of daily reflections drawn from her other published works, including “Codependent No More,” and “Beyond Codependency”. I recently purchased a box of daily affirmation cards drawn from these resources.  Here are three I read this morning and share them with you.  ‘Take what works and leave the rest.’

Peace,  Ken.



Today I will be open to the process of change. I will trust my Higher Power and believe that the place where I’ll be dropped off is better than the place where I was picked up.  I know that change is necessary to take me wherever I need to go. 



Today I will learn to reject shame.  Shame is an overwhelming sense that who I am isn’t good enough. I realize that I am good enough, and that my imperfections are part of being human. I let go of shame.



Today I will stop searching for happiness outside myself. If I’m in a frenzied state, I’ll get calm, get back on track, and remember that the key to happiness is inside me.  Often, after I’ve become peaceful and accepting, what I want comes to me with ease.