A.A. Oldtimers…On the Third Step
A.A. Grapevine, January 1945. Vol. 1 No. 8
“Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of
God, as we understood Him.”
I was co-chairman of the Loop group a few months ago and the
subject of religious experience was brought up. I answered this in
my stumbling way by saying that each of us could have such an
experience only when we ‘got on center with ourselves’; if that were
not clear we could express it thus: when we fully realized for the
first time in our lives the essential dignity of ourselves as human
beings. I also said that this realization could be achieved through
return to the formal religion we once practiced but never knew, or
by honest thought along our rough-hewn way.
I have lately come to think that the 3rd step on our guide post to the
good life is the meat and drink of the twenty-four hour program.
Without a complete, whole-hearted ‘surrender’ at the start of each
day, much of the good that we think, or do, is lost to us. I must confess that in my own daily application of the program I had begun to
slip on this point–if indeed I had ever really practiced it. But the tide
of events swelled over me recently to wash this bad thinking away.
Unsatisfactory events, however, do not seem to be without compensation. Out of this turmoil and confusion in my business affairs
has come a deeper understanding, a peace and serenity, a clarity
of outlook I never knew before. .