In Step Two we come to believe in a power greater than ourselves that can restore us to sanity. As with all the steps, it’s a process that takes some time. I still had a belief in ‘something’ when I came into recovery. I can’t say that I could have articulated exactly what I believed, but there was something ‘up there’ I figured. It certainly wasn’t the god I was raised with, and I was very relieved that the program allows me to believe in a god of my own understanding.
When I started to come out of my self-induced haze I had to admit that I hadn’t been doing all that well in the running of my life. And here were some folks who were telling me that they had turned things around in their lives and that part of that was a believe in a Power greater than themselves. I couldn’t argue with the results they were telling me about. And by the time I arrived at recovery’s doorstep I really was ready to give it a shot. After all, I was told, I didn’t have to believe in the god I was made to believe in, I could choose the god that I came to believe in.
I remember a friends description of his journey through Step Two. Joe was an atheist. He couldn’t accept that there was some sort of a god up there somewhere doing stuff to us and allowing all of the bad stuff to happen. As Joe tells it, when he was five, his grandfather, for whom he is named, died. He and his Papa had a very special relationship. At the funeral the priest said that God had called his Papa to be with him in heaven. What Joe heard was that God had stolen his grandfather away. What a mean and selfish God. At that point, though he was very young, Joe stopped believing in God, gradually, with time, declaring himself an atheist.
Through the journey of life, Joe became an addict and alcoholic and eventually found himself coming into a rehab centre and recovery. He was having a great deal of trouble with Step Two. During one of his discussions with his sponsor he shared his experience of his grandfather’s funeral. “What would you say to this god if you had the chance?” asked his sponsor. And Joe began to rail against this god who took is Papa away from him. “You sure have a lot of hate and anger against something you say you don’t believe in,” said his sponsor.
Joe was stunned. He couldn’t deny that what his sponsor had just called him on: he must still believe in some kind of a god if he had such strong feelings toward him. And that was enough to open the door for Joe. He continued to work with his sponsor and had come to a strong belief in a god of his own understanding. He came; he came to; he came to believe.
Thank you Joe G.