At the end of my first marriage my wife and I decided to try religion to save our relationship. We joined an extremely heavy Bible study accepted Jesus as our savor and made vows to stop smoking, drinking and cheating on each other. All went well for a few months till one by one we began to break our vows. This all ended in a divorce and I was separated from my children for over five years.
I interrupted this out come to be due to the fact that I could not live up to standards of the cross and I feared that if I called on the Lord for help again and failed that my name would be stricken from the book of life and I would burn in hell for all eternity as I was taught.
When I came to AA some eight years later and seen the third step hanging on the wall I was scared shitless! I was sick & tired and I had an honest desire to stay sober but there was no way I could make a decision to turn my will and life over to “God as I understood Him”. My first sponsor told me to use the group as a higher power (Group Of Drunks=GOD) and my second sponsor suggested a coffee cup. Neither one of these concepts gave me the needed power that I lacked to move on to the fourth step. I couldn’t clean house and I couldn’t stay sober. This went on for nearly eight years.
The last time I went through detox I had the good fortune to meat a man that gave we way to get past this stumbling block. When he asked me if I believed there was a power greater then myself in this universe that could help me I told him of my religious beliefs. I told him I understood there was only one way to reach God and that was through Jesus. I told him I could never do this because I could not live up to the standards of my belief and if I failed again I was doomed.
He pointed out the fact that I was doomed anyway and made a suggestion that changed my life. He pointed out that religion was about getting into heaven after I die and the 12 steps are about living the rest of my life without destroying myself and others. He suggested that if I wanted to Live I skip the middle man and just go straight to God. I had never even considered this course of action before. I attempted to debate him on this point and he simply used We Agnostics to shoot down my arguments.
He told me to let go of my old beliefs about religion and just accept God For God. Stop debating it in my within my own mind and just surrender. He gave me a copy of the third step prayer and told me to go home and think about it and if I could do this to memorize the prayer and come back to see him and if I couldn’t then there was nothing he could do for me.
I went Home and thought about it. I wanted to live and I knew if I keep drinking I would die. I came to a point where I just gave up and surrendered my old beliefs and excepted God as I didn’t understand Him and from that day on I haven’t given any thought to who or what god is. I no longer try to define God. I am most certain that there is a power in this universe that sets life in motion. I simply see this power as a concept of Good Orderly Direction and I do my best to follow it’s dictates. When I do things work out for the best. And when I don’t things go bad. This is how I know God is real…