Third Step

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

This is the third step of the twelve steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and Al-anon. I have been contemplating this step. I ask myself “why is it that you chose a God that you have so many confrontations with?”

Listen to this excerpt from the Al-anon book “Courage to Change”:

“I think of this care as a source of love and support that surrounds me in my daily life. I do not need to earn it or to work for it; I need only be receptive to it. I continue to have a will to exercise and a life to live, but I do so bathed in a light of love and understanding.”

When I first read this I was irritated. Wouldn’t it be nice not to have a butfulio for a God? Wouldn’t it be nice to have one that was sweet and understanding all the time instead of an Old Testament badass? This irritation only lasted a minute or two, then I realized that I had in my understanding of God, exactly what I needed. This is, a higher power who can endure my rage without being harmed. One that tests me, works me, makes me look at myself, makes me develop my soul, forces me to dig deep but when I get angry at the troubles, he allows me to rant and rail and kick my feet and holler “NO!”

I also realized that I had exactly what was stated in that passage, I never fear retribution when I call him a dick, a fuck and an asshole. I know he loves me unconditionally and will never leave me no matter how angry and belligerent I get. I know he will always be there, in the light that streams through the branches of the trees in the morning, the sound of the rain on the roof, the taste of hot chocolate on my tongue. I know that when I pray he will hear me even if what I pray for isn’t in the cards this time. His laughter runs through my life, as he points to the humor in all situations no matter how dark, helping me see the irony and the beauty that lies within every day, every circumstance.

This is what I needed in a God. Someone who is strong enough in himself to not be turned away by my need to speak my tongue. Someone who doesn’t beat me down for being mad–or ignore me, or discount me, or punish me. He just accepts me and strangely enough I accept him.

I have interviewed many deities over the course of my life, through church, books and groups. I believe they are all one and the same, just in different smocks. God is infinite therefore can play many parts, fulfilling the need of each petitioner, even atheists whether they know it or not. This aspect of God, with whom I can bump heads with and quarrel with, who makes my life troublesome with his message delivery system, is the only one that I have really trusted. With the others, all sweet and nice, I felt I had to be better than I am or fall into disgrace. With many, you have to have absolute belief in order to be heard and answered. I am not good with absolute belief, I question everything. So my God doesn’t give a shit if you believe in him or not, he doesn’t need your belief to exist because he is all that is. He isn’t self important, needing constant praise because he has a good strong healthy self esteem. By the way, he wrote all the books on a lark, he had especial fun with the bible. Once again, I must point out the problems with his message delivery system and his sense of humor. He did fairly well when he picked Shakespeare as a messenger, however, many of his other choices were not so good, like me for instance…..

Which brings me to my next Shakespearean quote:

“He draweth out the thread of his verbosity finer than the staple of his argument.”

That said, I draw this post to a close with a kind adieu and good night.