Big Book Musings: “…humbly offered myself to God…”


One of the most dramatic parts of Bill W’s story, in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, is when he actually takes part in Step 3:

Step 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

While sitting in his kitchen with his newly sober friend, he says:

There I humbly offered myself to God, as I then understood Him, to do with me as He would.  I placed myself unreservedly under His care and direction.  I admitted for the first time that of myself I was nothing; that without Him I was lost.

courage in higher power on justruminating men's blogAnd that is the key for my own understanding of my Higher Power:  it’s as I understand him.  Many folks take issue with the religious undertones of AA.  However, they are completely missing the boat:  AA is not a religious organization, nor does it preach any religious dogma whatsoever.

It is, however, a well known fact that many in AA suggest that lifelong recovery is not possible without  serious spiritual awakening.  I am still trying to discover what, exactly, my Higher Power is or represents.

But I do know this:  if I am to maintain my sobriety, I need to change myself.  Some days I cannot do this alone.  Some days I rely on something akin to a Higher Power.  I do believe in what Bill–before he takes up Step 3–says earlier when he says:

I had always believed in a Power greater than myself…I had little doubt that a mighty purpose and thythm underlay all.  How could there be so much of precise and immutable law, and no intelligence?

hp1I wholeheartedly share that belief.  I believe in the oneness of the universe and, if pressed, I would say that I am more into Taoism, Zen, and Buddhism, than anything.

Bill W. came to a spiritual awakening in his kitchen that day.  After countless attempts to quit a serious drinking problem he had failed.  However, once he made that decision to turn his life over to a God of his understanding, he never again took a drink.


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