I wonder if this is why Dr. Bob, said something like "Let's keep this simple and not louse it up!"
I was told to read the black on the white... and to try to avoid reading the words between the lines.
I admit that I don't always do that...
but, I try.
Maybe I'm missing something, too?
Last time I looked... Step 3, read..."We made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, as we understood Him" (page 59 BB).
Then, on page 60 BB... "Being convinced, we were at Step Three
, which is that we decided to turn our will and our life over to God as we understood Him. Just what do we mean by that and just what do we do?"
I guess Bill, knew long ago... that today, we would still be asking these questions.
"Just what do we mean by that" -- "and" -- "just what do we do?"
I've often thought it was interesting... that on page 59, it's "over to the care of God..." and on page 60, it's simply "over to God..." And, on page 59, "we made a decision to" and page 60 "we decided to".
It seems to me... that regardless if it's "over to the care of God"... or "over to God".... it's saying that we've only made a decision to do it. We haven't done it yet... we've only decided to do it. And, even with the prayer of Step 3, I've only made an offer... I haven't carried through on my offer. Which is why in the paragraph following that prayer... on page 63... it reminds me that "This was only a beginning..." And, the paragraph following that one... starts off with "Next we launched out... on a course of vigorous action... the first step... of which... is a personal housecleaning..."
And, further on.... with the Seventh Step Prayer... (page 76),... the prayer is nothing more than "I am now willing...."
Right below that paragraph on page 76... I read, "Now we need more action, withouth which we find that "Faith without works is dead." Let's look at Steps Eight and Nine."
For me... it's kind of like me making a decision to go to California, or New York. Nothing has really happened... other than, I have decided to go.
I doubt if I'm alone -- in saying, that "I've made a lot of decisions to do a lot of things.... but, never got any further than making a decision... to do a lot of those things!"
I "made a decision to go to any lengths..." to get over alcohol. I'm glad that I screwed this one up... and didn't "make a decision to be willing to go to any lengths." For me... that was a big difference. I will go to any lengths... regardless if I'm willing or not!
This kind of reminds me of all those sincere prayers of mine... kneeling in front of the toilet... puking... and praying "God help me! I promise I won't do this again!!! I'll never drink like this again!!!!"
I was making an offer to God then... I was making a decision then...
And, when I woke up the next morning... I would launch out on a course of vigorous action!!! It was... Step One... "Have a drink." Step Two "Have a drink" Step Three "Have another drink."
I was thinking of this earlier today... I could be wrong about this... but, it's only by Step Four... that we start getting those little warnings in the Big Book... of... "If you skip this Step... you'll probably drink!" A theme that seems to carry through from Steps Four through Nine.
I wondered... "why would Bill wait until Step Four to start giving those warnings about drinking again... and not getting over alcohol"?
I believe... it was probably because Bill already knew... that an alkie who had only taken Steps One, Two and Three... was probably going to drink again anyway... and, that if they were spending too much time on One to Three... without launching out on a course of vigorous action (Step 4), they probably hadn't even made a sincere decision yet... so, why warn them of the obvious?
In the original manuscript for the BB, at about the place where page 60 reads "Being convinced"... was a remark that read something similar to "I've been trying to sell you on three pertinent ideas... and, if you are not convinced by now... you might as well throw this book away... or read it again!"
Regarding surrender... it seems to me, that Step Three, is making the decision on surrender... Steps 4 through 9, is the process of surrendering... and by Step 10 (page 84) "we have ceased fighting..."
At Step One... I raised my white flag of surrender. I admitted defeat. Now, I had to take the actions to fully surrender... or to continue to take a beating with alcohol. Step Three, for me... is like me sitting in a tent, with the other General... signing my agreement to surrender. Steps 4 through 9, is handing over everything I've got... my good, my bad, my weapons of mass destruction.... and my cooperation and participation in making things right!