Defiance is the Outstanding Characteristic (Step Two continued)

“As psychiatrists have often observed, defiance is the outstanding characteristic of many an alcoholic. So it’s not strange that lots of us have had our day at defying God Himself. Sometimes it’s because God has not delivered us the good things of life which we specified, as a greedy child makes an impossible list for Santa Claus. More often, though, we had met up with some major calamity, and to our way of thinking lost out because God deserted us. The girl we wanted to marry had other notions; we prayed God that she’d change her mind, but she didn’t. We prayed for healthy children, and were presented with sick ones, or none at all. We prayed for promotions at business, and none came. Loved ones, upon whom we heartily depended, were taken from us by so-called acts of God. Then we became drunkards, and asked God to stop that. But nothing happened. This was the unkindest cut of all. ‘Damn this faith business!’ we said.

This is one of the most important paragraphs in AA literature for me, because it tells me clearly that everything won’t always turn out OK.  Personally, I don’t know if God is involved in these details of my life, and if God is involved in the details, I don’t know by what algorithm he grants or withholds good things, and gives or doesn’t give bad things.  It reminds me of part of a Carl Sandburg poem I like:

The game is all your way, the secrets and the signals and the system; and so for the break of the game and the first play and the last.
  Our prayer of thanks.

Also, the part about asking God to save me from alcoholism, reminds me of the Bible quote:

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

The idea of defying God is, to me, the same as the idea of defying reality.  Whether God causes reality or not isn’t something I’ll ever be able to answer, and I don’t have to answer it to stay sober.

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