Made a Decision (Step Three)

Step Three

“Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.”

PRACTICING Step Three is like the opening of a door which to all appearances is still closed and locked. All we need is a key, and the decision to swing the door open. There is only one key, and it is called willingness. Once unlocked by willingness, the door opens almost of itself, and looking through it, we shall see a pathway beside which is an inscription. It reads: “This is the way to a faith that works.” In the first two Steps we were engaged in reflection. We saw that we were powerless over alcohol, but we also perceived that faith of some kind, if only in A.A. itself, is possible to anyone. These conclusions did not require action; they required only acceptance.

“This is the way.”  What is the way?  The Steps are the way.

How much willingness?  I think it takes a lot of willingness.  Maybe just a tiny bit to begin, but for me not having a huge amount of willingness results in failure.  It did when I was “trying” to stop drinking.  A little willingness kept me going back to AA, it kept most of my attempts to resist the urge to drink successful, but not all.  Eventually I would give in and drink.  I don’t think I became truly willing until I perceived that I had to sober up or die.

Now.  I believe that these principles have the power to transform my life still, if I would follow them.  I love being associated with this program.  I love working with these words and thoughts over the long haul of my fortunately-long life.  I am going to ask myself, when I set out to knowing do the wrong thing, if I’m willing to turn my will and my life over.  Either to a supreme, super natural being or to the good direction that I know brings results, or both.

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March 18, 2016 (this day)

IMG_0335A mighty fortress is our God, a good defense and weapon.

Very long time readers will know that eight years ago, I was heavily involved in getting Hillary elected.  Mostly as a supportive spouse, but very involved.  It was heartbreaking to see her not make it, and I swore I wouldn’t personally care much about a candidate until there was a nominee.  But of course that couldn’t count for this time.

*******Important Service Announcement******   AA does not endorse any candidate in any way or take any stance on any outside issue.  These opinions are only mine.  I include them because they are very important to my life, and I want this blog to be as clear a reflection of my life through AA as it can be.  I truly hope anyone reading can understand that.  AA is not involved in politics.  Not even a little bit.  That’s part of why it has lasted. *******End of Announcement*******

So here we are again, and this time it may happen.  Amazing.  I’m so fortunate I got to see Obama be president, and I will be so much more so to see Hillary come next.  Whew.

Something completely unrelated to that but well related to AA.  Carole and I are reading “The Runner’s Bible” which was used in early AA.  The part we read today said “Who knows but that you may have been delegated to answer someone’s prayer?”  I tend to relate these things mostly to work, because we read it before I set off to work.  Working with people who have severe, multiple disabilities gives me the opportunity to answer prayers all day long.  I’m sure everyone I work with has had uncountable prayers said for them, things like, “God, please make the people who care for my son be kind and good and  skilled.”  But in AA, we have the opportunity every time we participate to answer someone’s prayer at least in part by keeping the program alive and accessible.

Do the Next Right Thing

What to do?  What to do?  Maybe it seems there is nothing to do.  Maybe it seems there is too much to do.  In early recovery, figuring out what to do while trying to live without alcohol can be daunting.  There are stories of saintly sponsors who will guide a new person through each minute of the day, through each choice of socks.

We could say, “Do the NEXT thing,” but when we’re trying to live right, it’s important to discern the next RIGHT thing.  Most next right thing lists would go something like, “get up on time, make your bed, shower, brush your teeth, feed your (family, critters, self), go to work, do the job you’re paid to do, run errands, go home, take care of your surroundings and dependents, go to a meeting.”  Repeating those actions over and over can lead to a happy life.

Sometimes, in despair, just doing the next right thing can help you through the next little while.  Wash the dishes, take a shower, go to a meeting, and before you know it, it’s a new day, one without regrets of undone things from yesterday.

For me now, I can easily make a list of the right things I fail to do, or to do enough of.  The basics are in place.  I do them consistently.  I still often do the WRONG thing, but at a level that doesn’t destroy my life or hurt other people.  Maybe the next right thing would be to meditate on this, and up my game.