Monday, August 06, 2007

Power or God: The Jury is Out

I was listening to a speaker tape the other day of a guy named Mickey B. He was a brilliant speaker, with a great message and a lot of humor. But one thing he said peaked my interest, and left me questioning the first step.

Mickey indicated that he talked to a number of people in the program, and asked each of them what powerless meant to them. All the members of the fellowship talked about inability to control their drinking after taking the first drink, the inability to know where they would end up should they drink, or even lack of control over people, places things and situations.

Much to my surprise, Mickey told all of them that they were wrong!

Mickey had a very different answer. Mickey B believes that powerlessness is a lack of God in one’s life. Now he does believe that any conception of God will do, so long as it makes sense to the fellowship member, because every concept of God, from a Jewish God to a light bulb would all push an alcoholic towards AA. And any God will channel the energy of the fellowship to its members.

To Mickey B, anyone who has a conception of God that makes sense to them is able to feel that energy, greater than the energy of all the individuals there, and the energy helps keep the alcoholic sober. In fact, the alcoholic gets so much energy, that the only way he can utilize it is to give some of that energy away. And thus, he sees the value of helping another alcoholic.

I definitely see the importance of the spiritual aspect of the program, and believe that without spirituality, no member of the fellowship can stay sober. But I know plenty of fellowship members with a God concept that are unable to stay sober. Often these people attempt to live a spiritual life, but never realize their powerlessness over alcohol. They believe that with a God concept and spirituality, their safe to drink.

Of course, we all know that an alcoholic is never able to drink safely. Once that first drop of alcohol touches the alcoholic’s lips, all bets are off. No amount of spirituality will stop the alcoholic from taking the next drink, and no God concept will prevent the drinking alcoholic from experiencing the consequences of the binge. At least, that’s the way I see it.

Don’t get me wrong; I believe a real relationship with a higher power is essential to sobriety. But I think that alone, a higher power will not help the alcoholic. He first must experience powerlessness, turn his will over to God’s, and follow the steps that will allow God to play an active role in his life.

That, at least, is the way I see it, but I look forward to hearing other people’s opinions. Please let me know your thoughts on powerlessness or Godlessness, and perhaps together we can come to some better understanding of the most fundamental issue of the program.

Posted by Scottage at 12:18 AM / | |