park sunriseI worked the First Step for the first time over 20 years ago.  I have written the words I turn my wiil and my life over to Your care thousands of times in my morning prayers.  You’d think I’d get it by now.  But every once in a while, something comes along like a big old two-by-four to the head, reminding me how hard it can be to admit that I’m Powerless. These particular two-by-fours seem to come in two varieties.  There are what we commonly call Acts of God … accidents, illnesses, natural catastrophes and the like.  Personally, I don’t believe that God micro-manages the world to the degree that Act of God implies.  I think that God set in place a universe that follows certain natural laws and that these events are the product of those laws.  I’ll leave the questions of whether God is still ultimately responsible the results of those natural laws and whether God sometimes directly intervenes for another day.  My point is that whether you call these events Acts of God or not, it’s pretty obvious that I’m Powerless over them.  And since the hand of God is involved, it’s a bit easier for me to accept that the event might fit into some Cosmic Purpose.

The inexplicable choices of man are another story entirely.  We have power only over a small fraction of those … the things we do ourselves.  For those, we can try to turn our will over to the care of God, and when we screw up, we canopinion make amends.  Fine.  But for me, it is hardest to admit that I’m Powerless over others.  I’m a rational man.  It’s very hard for me to see why someone would do something contrary to my most reasonable opinion.  I’m an articulate communicator.  It’s hard for me to see my best argument fail to convince someone they are on the wrong path.  Because I believe we have free will, it’s harder to see the hand of God in the acts of man. The notion that God can make use of our questionable decisions for the Ultimate Good is a reach for me. I’ve seen too often the awful outcomes of bad decisions.

Faced with the decisions of others with which I disagree, I need to remember, I have been wrong on occasion.  Man, my ego hates that.  I’m told I should admit, You could be right. I’m told not to project what will happen, and I have ample evidence that I’m a poor predictor of the future. I’m told to Let Go and Let God but there’s that damned free will.  This is perhaps the hardest part of working the 12 Steps.  At least for now.  I’ll move onto another Step any day now.

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2 Comments on “Powerless”

  1. territerri Says:

    I think most of have trouble accepting our powerlessness. It’s just easier to accept when we don’t have something constantly reminding us of it. Unfortunately, you are clearly struggling with an ever-present reminder. I’m sorry.

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