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Archive for October 25th, 2011

The end of this month marks thirty-two years I’ve been “steppin’along” with the teachings, graces, and experiences of the AA Twelve Step Program influencing my life, indeed, giving me a chance to have a life.

And I have been “having a life”. One full of constant changes, one with many surprises, one which I truly wouldn’t have any other way. Although I don’t frequent the meetings as much as I did in the “old days”, it was the fellowship and the steps of AA that helped me grow up and accept the nicks and scrapes, the outright disasters, and the boatloads of good that came into my life a day at a time as I kept “steppin’ along”.

This morning, in my quiet prayer time, the echoes of Step 3 came floating into my soul:

“Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.”  The bolded part of that sentence is the only part of the sentence that is italicized on page 59 of the Big Book, in Chapter 5, How It Works. This is read frequently at the start of AA meetings, so if you go frequently to meetings you hear over and over again the beginning sentence of the chapter: “Rarely have we seen a person fail who has thoroughly followed our path.”

Now that’s what I like, a promise and a recipe for success at the very beginning! And it has held true for me. There are several reasons why part of that sentence is italicized, I think, but the main one is many of us in the recovering fellowship had trouble with the very word — God — and Bill Wilson, the founder knew it.

I was not one of those. I had grown up with and learned to depend upon a loving God, but also a God with many “sharp edges” and doctrine strings hanging all over him — and there was another problem for many — they didn’t want to give God a gender, and God was always referred to as him, most often with a capital H.

So my steppin’ along with God evolved from a soul-searching dependency upon God to an all-out daily trust in God and the Divine. And the location of God in my life changed from “out there” (although God is there too) to an eternal Presence within me.  An Eternal One who just loves me all the time.

The first three words can trip a person up as well. MADE A DECISION. My goodness, yes…..I made a decision, and then I forgot and made a decision over again, and then I despaired and went back on my decision, and then I learned to live my decision, to turn it over, in the big and the small of my life, and THAT! is the best decision I ever made. The need to drink over any decision has been long removed, by the grace of God, from my life.

Halloween has never been something “I do” very well. I enjoy the children, costumes and sugar-fun of the time. But at the root of many my own and most addict’s problems I guess is the inability to think we are acceptable without disguise. In AA and many other spiritual paths of life, we learn to discard those disguises and just show up as the infinitely beautiful creature God made us to be.

Now that’s a Big Step!

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