“Being convinced, we were at Step Three, which is that we decided to turn our will and our life over to God as we understood Him. Just what do we mean by that, and just what do we do?”
‘The Big Book’ Alcoholics Anonymous, pg 60
Today, I completed my third step.
For me, perhaps the most important step. I know this because finding my God has been the greatest mystery and joy that I have ever known. And, no matter what the next nine steps provide me, I don’t think that there is anything that can surpass the divinity and grace that my higher power has brought into my life.
Turning my life and will over to my God is a paradox. The easiest and the hardest thing I will ever do.
I’ve run my own show since I was a child. Even at times when I wished that someone else had been at the helm of my ship. I’ve led a life wrought with compulsive behavior. My mind an ever running machine, never ceasing to give me rest from it’s static demands. Constantly striving to please others, even when it was far from required. A race without a finish line. An exhausting show. A facade that needed bracing everyday, lest it crumble like Rome.
Drinking numbed all that. Made it stop. Made those thoughts and people, places and tasks, guilt and shame, disappear. But it also took my identity, my drive, my dreams, my intellect, and left me to rot. There was no place for God in the wasteland my alcoholism had created. No foothold for him. And, I, I was too lost to ask for his help. Why ask for help when you’re convinced there is none?
Even when I’d hit my bottom, and knew it was time to get sober for good, I’d never considered that God would be the impetus that would actually allow that to happen. But, through the program of Alcoholics Anonymous, I found my strength. And, in that strength, I found the humility to ask for God’s help. And, there he was.
Some will say it’s woo woo. Some will point their fingers and cry ‘Jesus freaks! All of you!’ Some will wish me well, and silently conceal their pity for my ‘delusion.’ “But it is better to meet God alone than with one who might misunderstand.” (Alcoholics Anonymous, pg. 63) And, it’s no matter to me any longer what anyone else thinks on the subject. I have bore witness. I have been present for his works. And, it’s no folly or coincidence. It’s truth. And, in my faith, I’ve found everything I need to be better, in every sense of the word.
My sponsor and I went to the Ponytail Falls in the Columbia River Gorge to complete my third step. And, while I’d rather keep my process to myself, I will say this: There have been moments since I’ve found my God that I’ve felt that he’s been far from me, even though I know he’s been out there, somewhere. Today, was not one of those moments. The beauty of nature, the pounding rush of the water as it pushed over the falls and pounded into the rock and earth, the echo of nature’s sheer strength, and the delicate drip of fresh water onto cold, ancient stone. That is God. I stood upon him and listened to him, my feet, roots in his Earth. I felt him.
And, I told him what I needed to tell him.
Ponytail Falls, Columbia River Gorge. December 5th, 2012.
Taken by withoutaglass.