1. God

1. “GOD, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change”

 I have often heard other members of Twelve Step groups refer to life’s most divine force with the phrase “a power greater than human power” or simply as “My Higher Power”. I sometimes wondered how these unique and somewhat mysterious phrases came to Bill Wilson’s mind as he wrote the Big Book of AA. I opened my enormous 1934 Webster’s Dictionary to see which words were used by Webster’s staff to literally define God.

The principal definition: “God n. a being of more than human attributes and powers”

Hmmm. Interesting. “A being of more than human powers” vs “A Higher Power”. There certainly is some similarity between Webster’s definition and the trademark phrases used in the Twelve Step groups. It might be pure coincidence; I have no way of knowing. Still, this dictionary definition helped me grasp the Twelve Step definition more clearly. My solution will never come from a human power. Not from myself, family, fellowship, professionals, clergy, sponsors, etc. No power that is human power can help me. Once I got sober, I knew this to be true.

I have used my drawing skills to underscore the point. The “God” drawing includes items reflecting the greatest of human forces, including the diploma (education), the beaker (science), the gavel (justice), the rose (love), the crown (royalty), the pearls (wealth), the drill (industry), the stethoscope (medicine), the football (sports) etc. The drawing also includes seductive temptations found in human affairs including the bullet (violence), the shot glass (alcohol), the pills (drugs), the bra strap (sex), the cigar (tobacco), dice (gambling), etc.

So, the hand which appears in the “God” drawing is not a hand at all. It is an empty space where the clutter of human powers cannot reach. In effect, I have drawn God by not drawing God at all. I have made the drawing to remind myself that when I strive to find Him, I can start by ruling out all human powers in the world. And there, the real search can begin.

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