In Al-Anon, which is based very closely on AA, we learn to trust in a higher power fairly quickly, or we are lost. In fact, Step Two says Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity. Step Three says Turned our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
Twelve-step programs are spiritual, rather than religious. In fact, the traditions and concepts specifically point that out, that we do not promote nor discriminate against any religion, denomination, etc. It is not only my opinion that many people in Al-Anon would be scared off and not come if they were forced to believe in the God I believe in (for I choose to call my higher power God).
Some people choose to the other tables, nature, or the Big Book of Al-Anon or Alcoholics Anonymous as their higher power. All of this is fine and good, and no one would dare to dispute them, for who can say what works for another human being? Some individuals have been the targets of religious abuse before they enter the doors of a 12-step program. The last thing they need is someone telling them what to believe in.
For myself, it’s an evolving process. Though I believed in the triune God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) before I entered Al-Anon), I did not have a close relationship with God as Father. I’m still working on it. It’s a trust issue, and it’s because I compare Him too much to the father of my growing up years. Even though I know in my head and heart it doesn’t make sense, when I’m hurt and needing to run to Him, I run away instead. When I know I should obey, when everything in my body screams to me that I’ve got to do it, my stubborn will still gets in the way, and it takes me a while before I get there.
My sponsor and I talked about what it meant, action-wise, to turn our will and our lives, on a daily basis. She said for her this meant flossing her teeth. It’s the made a decision part of the 3rd step. She decided that if she does something like that, takes care of a part of her body daily that she really doesn’t want to, but she knows that God cares about, she’s turning over her will to Him – even if just a little part – on a daily basis. She’s meeting Him a little way, and He will take care of the rest.
So I thought of something I can do. I’m a notorious slob. Truly. And I have a great car. Tweety-bird. Yeah. A screaming yellow Ford Focus. I begged my brother Greg to find it for me used and I swore I’d never smoke in it or get it messy. About three months later I was smoking in it, a month later it was trashed. 😦 I think obedience and turning over my will to God would look like . . . cleaning my car and keeping it clean on a daily basis. To start out I can just clean the front seat – yeah, it’s that bad. 😛
Do you have a higher power? What does obedience to your higher power look like for you? Is it a daily thing?