I’ve had several experiences this week dealing with the issue of faith.
I was sitting with my sponsee working on the 12 steps. After asking about her belief in God, she replied, “I do believe in God, and I believe in AA, but I guess I have a hard time accepting the idea that simply praying every day, and sitting in AA meetings is going to cure me. I don’t really understand how it works.”
I was sitting in Mass last night as my daughter was receiving the sacrament of Confirmation. I looked up at skylight in the church’s ceiling, and saw a white bird looking into the church. As I did a double take (because the dove, a white bird, is the symbol of this sacrament), the bird flew away. The rest of Mass I was trying to come up with alternate reasons why that bird would have been up there, checking out the ceremony.
This morning at my home group meeting, the topic was about how to tackle the 12-step program when you consider yourself agnostic. A newcomer to the meeting talked about how envious she was of people who had a belief in God. She was born and raised in Japan, and therefore her religious upbringing made it difficult for her to grasp the concept of a higher power (these are her words, I have no knowledge of Japanese culture and how it relates to spirituality). After this statement, she talked for quite some time, and unknowingly referenced multiple ways she does believe in a power greater than herself (one example is her belief in Karma, but there were several other references).
I believe that we can over think the whole spirituality business. For me, I had a basic belief in God when I started my recovery… I believed in God, but took no further action with that belief (unless you count foxhole prayers like, “God, if you get me out of this mess, I will never do wrong again” a type of action). I had the same reservations that my sponsee did. How can sitting with a group of drunks relieve you of the obsession to drink? It made no sense, but I had run out of options, so prayer and AA were my only alternatives.
As time had moved on, my faith in both God and AA has grown exponentially, and here I am using the word faith deliberately. Because I have no real answer to my sponsee’s question, I’m not sure there is a definitive answer. But as they say in the rooms, “I came, I came to, and then I came to believe.” Days, weeks, and months of cultivating a relationship with God, days, weeks and months of immersing myself in the Fellowship, has made me a believer. And the best part? There is always room for growth, room for improvement, room for deepening my faith. The more you work at it, the better it gets. You just have to take that proverbial leap!
Having the clarity to connect the dots in my life!