When I came into AA to finally try to get sober, the God word was mentioned . . . a lot!

When I was first 12 stepped three years earlier, one of the people who came to visit me at home said “Anything can be your Higher Power! A table or chair, anything!” I thought he was nuts then and I still do now.

An old timer in AA told me that there were two things I needed to know about God: there was one and I wasn’t Him!

After reading the conversation Ebby had with Bill at the kitchen table in Bill’s Story (page 12, Big Book) “Why don’t you choose your own conception of God?” as was Bill’s experience when hearing that I got total clarity, he goes on to say: “That statement hit me hard. It melted the icy intellectual mountain in whose shadow I had lived and shivered many years. I stood in the sunlight at last. It was only a matter of being willing to believe in a Power greater than myself. Nothing more was required of me to make my beginning. I saw that growth could start from that point. Upon a foundation of complete willingness I might build what I saw in my friend. Would I have it? Of course I would!”

That was enough for me to make my beginning, even if I didn’t really understand it.

I had been thrown out of bible class at my local church when I was about 12 years old for talking about Darwin’s Theory of Evolution to the minister’s daughter. But honestly, I also believed that there was some sort of creative intelligence behind it all, a “Great Architect of the Universe”. This “all being random” didn’t quite gel with me.

Over my years in AA, I have developed and came to a better understand what my belief is, what my Higher Power means to me, moved forward with my concept, and sometimes have had to reverse and rethink. I believe that God is within us all, that my Higher Power works through people, placed in my path in not only my recovery, but my whole life looking back.

When I read the Chapter in the Big Book, We Agnostics, I had to find out more about what an agnostic was and what a gnostic was. A divine spark within the human body that could be liberated by gnosis, spiritual knowledge acquired through direct experience.

Developing and maintaining my concept is an ongoing task. Some years ago I was getting bogged down and not making much progress in it. As has been the case through my sobriety, I took on a new service opportunity and met the late Tim W-M of CER. Tim had written much on the subject and he pointed me in some directions of how I might better get an understanding. Another great example of how my Higher Power works through people.

By trying my best to keep an open mind, listen and not reject other’s concept of their Higher Power or God, I can learn. If I want the right to believe in what I believe in, then I must afford others that same privilege. Ever remaining teachable from all sources, I will not go far wrong.

Now approaching my 28thSober Anniversary one day at a time at the end of September, I reflect on my last 28 years. Some of it great, some of it tragic and sad. But with the help of AA, my concept of my Higher Power and the people in the fellowship, it’s been an incredible journey.

Someone told me to become an Old Timer in AA, I had to not drink and to not die. My hope for the future is to continue this path, and to remain ever grateful to AA and my Higher Power.

If I keep doing what I am doing, chances are, I will keep getting what I am getting.

God Bless AA and you all for helping me maintain my sobriety and recovery.

Wullie I.