Thursday, September 2, 2010

A Week of Virtues - Day 4 - Faith

Faith Definition:  Complete confidence in a person, plan, or set of beliefs, etc.

"Faith is daring the soul to go beyond what the eyes can see."   ~  William Newton Clark

Before entering recovery, I would have told you that I had faith but what I really had was a belief in God.  Others in recovery suggested that I look up words as I studied and practiced recovery principles even if I thought I knew what they meant because quite often I don't.  Faith is a belief in the trustworthiness or having confidence in someone or something.  Belief is merely an opinion or conviction that something is true or factual.  So, while I believed that God was real, I did not have faith or trust in him.

Before the program, my faith was in the "God of Reason," as the Big Book of AA states.  I often find that my faith still gets stuck in my intellect when I become obsessed with understanding my diseases of alcoholism and depression in an attempt to manage them. When knowledge is my higher power, God is not and then my insanity begins.

Step 3, which asks me to" make a decision to turn my will and my life over to the care of God as I understand him," invites me to give up my attempts to control life.  But, I won't make this decision if I don't first "come to believe in a power greater than myself who can restore me to sanity (i.e., Step 2)."  This Step is hard for me because, while I believe that God can restore me to sanity, I don't always have the faith or confidence that he will.  Why wouldn't he?  I don't know.  Why don't I have faith that he will?  Well, this probably calls for some Step 4 work, but my first guess is because I don't think I deserve to be sane let alone happy.  Anyone, ever feel that way? 

Another barrier to turning my will over to God is believing that I have power over my diseases, events and people in my life, etc.  When this is the case, I am back at Step 1 - "admitting I am powerless over alcohol (or fill in the blank) and that my life has become unmanageable."

Power, belief, faith...I have no power, I believe in God, and I have been given a "faith that works" (a faith in God versus a faith in intellect, reason, knowledge, or my own power.)  My only job is to make the decision to use it.  Simple, but not easy.   

"Faith is a bird that feels dawn breaking and sings while it is still dark."  ~  Rabindranath Tagoret

1 comment:

  1. Well-, mine was a faith transformed by desperation- (disparate parts scattered by the disease)...They told me when I came in that we only need 'the tiniest mustard seed ' to begin-
    Will, not power-brought the Ferris wheel
    of the first 3 steps over and over...
    Thanks ! love the Quote at the end!


Thank you for sharing!