What Are Your Drumsticks?

I was going to the Baltimore SA Convention several years ago. When I fly to a SA Convention, I get a window seat, because I don’t want anybody to ask me the question, “Where are you going?” I don’t want to lie, and I don’t want to tell the truth.

So I am going to Baltimore. I have my window seat, and all is right with the world. I want to look out the window, and be left alone.

We take off, and just as we are about to get to the runway the Captain came over the intercom, ” Ladies and gentleman we are so sorry, but we are having some trouble with the right engine and we have to return to the dock. No cause for alarm we will be taking off shortly.” 15 minutes later we take off.

Just as we were about to get on the runway the Captain got on the overhead and said, ” I am sorry for the interruption, but do to technical difficulties we have to return to the airport.” He said that it wasn’t serious, yet I am beginning to feel afraid. I stop looking out the window, and began to talk to the people around me. Everyone was alarmed, yet the pilot assured us we would be off in 15 minutes. I returned to looking out the window. So we take off the 3rd time.

Before we can get to the runway the Captain comes again on the overhead and says, “Ladies and gentlemen I am sorry we will have to return to the dock 3 passengers want to get off the plane. ” I said to myself, “What, want to get off the plane! “Do they know something I don’t know?” I could just see the morning paper reporting the crash, and these religious people talking about how God told them to get off the plane, and I am somewhere dead.

Well the plane came back. Not 3 people got off the plane, but 5. I am thinking to myself, “Get Off This Plane Now!!!”

I said the Serenity Prayer, and that brought some sanity; I settled down.

We took off the 4th time. This time we made it to the runway, and we were off!

By this time I was talking. Engaged in the people sitting next to me. There were 2 other people in my row. The fellow in the far seat had just graduated college, and was going to sell livestock. The woman sitting next to me, her name was Carol. She was a IT person at a big investment corporation.

Then it happened, the thing that I had been dreading happened! Carol said, “So where are you going?” I said fearfully, “to a convention.” She said, “That sounds exciting. What type of convention?” I said, reluctantly, ” a twelve step convention.” She said, “Oh, I am familiar with the twelve steps.” She went on to recite step twelve. I was so taken aback that I joined her in reciting the step.

Then she said, “I am a Life-Coach in my spare time. In fact, my niece was addicted to meth, and in 5 years she was off meth, and married, and had her masters.” I said, “You know your stuff!”

Then she said, “A good friend of mine was going to be inducted into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame. He had started after the band retired to drink heavily. In order to receive the award he had to perform with the band. He was the drummer, and he couldn’t do it, because of alcohol. I told him to carry a set of drumsticks in his hand everywhere he went, a drumstick in each hand. Those drumsticks were a symbol of his passion.”

I began to think about what she was saying. This was some kinda behavior modification. If he had the drumsticks in his hand he couldn’t have a glass or a bottle in his hand. That the one excluded the other.

She said, “Wherever he went he had those drumsticks. To the supermarket, laundromat, getting a haircut, he had those drumsticks in hands, and it worked! His passion to play the drums, perform, and get that award, along with those drumsticks constantly in his hands, conspired to get him that award!”

Then she got in my face and said, “I don’t think you know what your drumsticks are?” I had never been confronted like that before. I wanted to have a quick comeback like, “Of course I know what my drumsticks are.” In truth I admitted, “You are right, I don’t know what my drumsticks are, sober is not well.”

The conversation shifted, we had reached my destination. I had to make a mad dash off the plane in hopes of connecting with my next flight. All those delays in the beginning had caught up with me.

Since that time on that plane I have searched my soul, and I am still trying to understand, what went on in that conversation. I have asked God as I understand Him for help. This is what I have come up with:

  • Passion – Spirituality
  • Alcohol – Sexual Lust
  • Drumsticks – Rolling up 2 pages of my spiritual literature, putting a page in each hand

My Drumsticks connect me to my Passion, and my Drumsticks deter me from reaching for my “alcohol” sexual lust.

I don’t have it all together. I am teachable, open to feedback. It was very hard to understand this. I thought I did and I didn’t. I still may not have it. This is an accurate account of what happened.

One glaring principle I see in all of this is:

God will move heaven and earth to show me His will and give me the power and wisdom to carry it out.


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