Back in the early 1970’s, I had the opportunity to be summer pastor at a small church in Struble, Iowa, just north of LeMars. There was little to no night life and I quickly became the gathering place for the adolescents of the town. Night after night, as July gave way to August, they would appear, telling their tales of “walking the beans” or “walking the corn” that day. As a city boy, I had no idea what they were talking about until they actually took me out to a field and invited me to “walk the beans’ with them. I was amazed at the number and variety of weeds that were growing up with the crops. I was also surprised at how quickly the work became tedious and taxing, necessary as it was.
That experience and image have remained with me whenever I reflect on the tenth step. In a sense the text of the Big Book invites that:
“Continue to watch for selfishness, dishonesty, resentment, and fear.
When THESE CROP UP (sic), we ask God at once to remove
them (page 84).”
“When these crop up,” as they will in the fields of our lives, we immediately attend to them. We ask our caring God to remove them; we bring them to our sponsor or another listening heart; we make amends if we have harmed someone; and we quickly turn our attention to someone we can help on the road to recovery.
I literally walked the beans forty years ago and learned something that has been so helpful to my recovery ever since. Figuratively and spiritually, I will be walking them again tonight. The harvest of my life depends on it.
Remember. You’re not alone. We’re here to help.
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