75th Anniversary of Cleveland’s Central Bulletin
October 2, 2017
What Can a Central Office Do for Me?
October 24, 2017

I came into A.A. bankrupt in every department. When I started to work the steps, my first big challenge was to find a power greater than myself that could solve my problems. What an order for a guy who they describe in step two in the 12×12 as the one who had tried religion and found it wanting.

I could see the examples of people around me that seemed to have it figured out  and I became a nuisance trying to corner them to get them to explain to Me how they do it and they had as much trouble explaining it as I did. One day I confronted my friend, Jim, and asked him to let me in on the secret. Frustrated, He asked, “Do you want to drink right now?” My answer was “NO.” He then asked me, “Did you want to drink a year ago?” And my answer was “YES.” Next he asked me “what made the difference?” My answer was that I was influenced by the A.A. program. His next question was, “Do you have any Problem calling that God?” WOW! What a concept.

I have never wanted a drink since I entered the program and the only answer I could come up with was the influence of A.A in my life. For a guy who couldn’t conceive of a day without alcohol, to a guy that has never wanted a drink since, was all I needed to know about God. I wish I could tell you who or what God is but I can’t. I can, however tell you what God does for me but I’ll get to that later.

The 2nd appendage in the Big Book, Spiritual Experience, implies that there are many examples of spiritual experiences, and they come in different forms. They can be of the burning bush variety or a psychic change sufficient to bring about recovery from alcoholism. Or, as I like to believe, my spiritual experience came in the form of “a profound change of perception.”

When it occurred to me that all of my thinking was flawed and that I was finally in an environment where I could, with the help of the group, start to follow simple unselfish guidelines that would restore my self esteem and put me at peace with myself and others, I started this wonderful journey and I’ve never had it so good. These universal truths are common in all philosophies and I must seek them out if I want to heal.

I pray to God every day, even though I don’t know who or what God is. My mind is not sophisticated enough to understand God and I’m not sure that God hears my prayers, but I HEAR MY PRAYERS and that, I believe, puts me in the best possible attitude I can have about the issue I pray for.

My prayers are always the same. I pray for knowledge of his will for me and strength to carry it out. I.e. God, Please show me what to do and give me the strength to do it, I don’t do to well on my own. I often knew what to do, but wasn’t always strong enough to do what was right. Today I’m stronger.

Who or what is God? I’m not sure anyone can define God. As a friend of mine (Will) explained, “You don’t have to understand thermodynamics to enjoy the warmth of the sun”, I do, however, know what God does. When I ask for guidance, I become a better receiver and I hear the answers that used to pass right over my head when I thought I had all the answers. I thank God for an open mind.

By Rick R.

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of the AA Cleveland District Office.