An AA and his sponsee met for coffee at a waterfront café, part of a marina. The setting was appropriate; the sponsee was a mariner, a professional captain, knowledgeable in all things relating to ships and nautical stuff.
They were talking about meditation and prayer.
Near their table, a thick, braided, mooring line lay coiled.
The sponsor pointed to the line and asked, “why do ship people braid rope like that mooring line?”
His sponsee replied, “braided rope has been around forever. The strength of a properly braided rope is greater than the sum of the strengths of the individual strands. Because of the logic of the weaving of the braid, each strand works to its optimum, and each strand is mutually supported, making it stronger.
“More importantly, properly braided rope is easier to manage. It coils easier and does not tangle as much. Lots of reasons sailors have braided strands to make rope for millennia. Why do you ask?”
“Well,” the old timer paused to sip his coffee, “Bill Wilson, in the Twelve and Twelve, writes about the importance of prayer, meditation and self-examination and points out they are good individually and even better when logically woven together. It struck me that logically weaving the three strands of prayer, meditation, and self-examination was like braiding three strands of rope to make a mooring line, and I wondered if sailors braided rope for a reason.
“I thought it might make it stronger than the sum of the parts; intuitively, that makes sense. But the other features, enhancing utility and making it easier to use, are fascinating insights. They add to the metaphor.
“There is more than one reason for the weaving metaphor for meditation, prayer, and self-examination: added strength, ease of use and a less tangled spiritual life.”
I like it. I think I will keep braiding.