Today I want to address that age old question: what is God’s will for me?
It seems to me that for those of us in 12 step programs, doing God’s will seems to look something like this: “I have no clue what God’s will for me is, but I’m just going to do the next indicated right thing, go to meetings, call my sponsor and work the steps.” Which is a very good beginning.
But I think there is more to it than that.
We are told as newcomers to turn our will and life over to the care of God. Then in the 11th step we are told to pray only for knowledge of It’s will for us and the power to carry that will out.
When I speak with folks about New Thought and we talk about the concept of a God within us and everywhere present, one of the main stumbling blocks is that most folks are unwilling to explore that God’s will might be something that came from inside of them. They say their thinking is flawed, and the idea of intuitively knowing God’s will is not only foreign, but scary. Like their minds, its a dangerous neighborhood that they do not wish to visit.
But let’s look at what it says in the text book of Alcoholics Anonymous about the 11th step. This is part of the 11th step promises: “If we have carefully followed directions, we have begun to sense the flow of His Spirit into us.”
We have begun to sense the flow of Spirit into us.
Now let’s look at some wisdom from some New Thought folks:
Ernest Holmes: “It has been said that we can know God only in so far as we can become God.”
Neale Donald Walsh: “...your will for you is God’s will for you.”
Marianne Williamson: ““God” means love, and “will” means thought. God’s will, then, is loving thought.”
I like to view the concept of God’s will as it is telling me to embody the aspects of God. Those aspects of Spirit are sometimes listed as Love, Light, Life, Peace, Power and Beauty. Just how does one embody aspects of spirit? Let’s take Love as an example, since it is the aspect most commonly used as a synonym for God.
If I show up AS Love, what would that look like? Well, first let’s take a look at what it doesn’t look like. It doesn’t look like judgement. It doesn’t look like intolerance. It doesn’t look like separation. It doesn’t look like attacking others, either verbally or physically, when we are in fear. It doesn’t look like fear. It looks like acceptance, compassion and a sense that we are One and thus connected with the rest of the human race. This means that what I do affects you and what you do affects me. It means that when we are in fear, we recognize it and we do what is necessary to replace that fear with Love, because fear is basicallly a way of shutting out God. It means that we move through life with open minds and hearts. It means we say yes! to all that life has to offer. It means we know without doubt that we are a part of God and It is a part of us, and we realize that sometimes, we just might be the only version of God that another human being can see.
So if I pray for God’s will for me and the power to carry it out, it means I am showing up as the voice of love, acceptance, tolerance and compassion in all of my affairs. Once I do that, it will become quite clear to me what to do next.
Living life AS the embodiment of Spirit is a profound and rewarding way to live, and it is, I believe, the meaning of working the 11th step in our lives.
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