Power in Presence

“We admitted that we were powerless over our addictive behavior – that our lives had become unmanageable”

Step 1 of the 12 steps of AA


What is the source of our power?

Our Higher Power, our God, right?

I have been mentally, emotionally, and spiritually attacked by the thought that God is powerless.

Does that scream against everything you have learned and know about God?

Me too. The screaming has been distracting. It has woken me up at night. This thought makes no intelligent sense. Period!

There is an oxymoron here. I am faced with a real paradox.

We know that many of us experience sobriety, sometimes in spite of ourselves. Many of us have shared this experience. We are sober but we are not sure why. These statements spark a great deal of supportive and challenging discussions. We know our God has carried us through our addiction to sobriety. As we grow in our spirituality, we come to recognize and more fully appreciate that God has been an active and vital force and source of our sobriety.


Sobriety is a community miracle. All of us contribute to the sobriety of each other. This is a common teaching of a variety of spiritual practices.

I have heard it in Christian scriptures and sermons: Where two or more are gathered, I am in your midst. I have experienced this in the many ministries I enjoyed in my life.

I have heard and experienced this in Native American teachings and ceremonies.

This is also an ongoing reality of the practice of Yoga.

So, what’s the point?

Our step 12 growth is that of becoming the power of our God in our recovery communities. We are responsible as the hands of voices of God in sharing our experience, strength and hope to each other. Yes, we are the power of God.

I am called to “pray for the knowledge of God’s will for us and the power to carry that out.” This we know from our step 11 experience. When I refuse to act on the knowledge of God’s will for me, for us, I am rendering God powerless. Wow! This is a huge responsibility.

I find truth in this statement. At the same time, I am certainly not raising myself up as a God. Whew! Yet, my responsibility to God’s plan remains. Our responsibility to God’s plan remains.

So we will continue to be faced with the mystical paradox of our God. God is all powerful. God needs us to put skin to his/her presence and be the power and miracle of sobriety.

I am grateful that you all so beautifully live that presence. We don’t need to be perfect to be powerful. My sobriety is sustained in our willful offering of each other in God’s plan.

Sobriety is good. God is good. We are good, together.


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