One of the most dramatic parts of Bill W’s story, in the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, is when he actually takes part in Step 3:
Step 3: Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.
While sitting in his kitchen with his newly sober friend, he says:
There I humbly offered myself to God, as I then understood Him, to do with me as He would. I placed myself unreservedly under His care and direction. I admitted for the first time that of myself I was nothing; that without Him I was lost.
And that is the key for my own understanding of my Higher Power: it’s as I understand him. Many folks take issue with the religious undertones of AA. However, they are completely missing the boat: AA is not a religious organization, nor does it preach any religious dogma whatsoever.
It is, however, a well known fact that many in AA suggest that lifelong recovery is not possible without serious spiritual awakening. I am still trying to discover what, exactly, my Higher Power is or represents.
But I do know this: if I am to maintain my sobriety, I need to change myself. Some days I cannot do this alone. Some days I rely on something akin to a Higher Power. I do believe in what Bill–before he takes up Step 3–says earlier when he says:
I had always believed in a Power greater than myself…I had little doubt that a mighty purpose and thythm underlay all. How could there be so much of precise and immutable law, and no intelligence?
Bill W. came to a spiritual awakening in his kitchen that day. After countless attempts to quit a serious drinking problem he had failed. However, once he made that decision to turn his life over to a God of his understanding, he never again took a drink.