Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity is the second step of Alcoholics Anonymous. It is also one of the hardest because people have a problem believing that there is anything greater than they are. Many people struggle with the idea of God, because they see the suffering in the world and can’t imagine that a loving God would allow it. Lee Strobel is an atheist turned Christian who has written several great books. One of his books is titled “The Case for Christ”, where he sets out to prove that Christ doesn’t exist. He finds that Christ definitely does exist and offers interesting proof of it. In his book titled “The Case for Faith”, Mr. Strobel does a creditable job of answering the question “Why would a loving God allow suffering”. I would suggest getting a copy of it and reading it with an open mind.
What does higher power mean? The word higher means something that is greater, stronger and more knowledgeable or more capable than you. The word power means this something has the energy or ability to act upon or with you to promote recovery. I agree with both definitions by Terence T. Gorski in his book titled “Understanding the Twelve Steps”. He goes on to say you can view this higher power as an inanimate object, a person who is more knowledgeable than you are or a group of people working with you to recover.
I think that alcoholics have to admit their behavior is insane. Our drinking leads us to do things and say things that play havoc with our lives. There is joke in the AA community that talks about couple of men who walk through a doorway and get hit with a block of wood. It happens to the first man a couple of times and he decides not to go through that doorway again. It happens to an alcoholic a couple of times and then the third time he walks through the door he doesn’t get hit with the wood. Rather than walking through the door happy that he wasn’t hit that time, he decides to stand there and wait until the wood hits him again. It sounds ridiculous, but it is true when you think about the amount of times he will drink even when the outcome is always the same-insane behavior.
Believing that a power greater than yourself can restore you to sanity doesn’t mean that you have to become a religious holy roller. It can simply be a quiet faith in something other than you. Admittedly, we aren’t doing a very good job our way. We have nothing to lose and everything to gain by trying it another way.