Bill Wilson, Step Ten: 12 & 12 wrote:As we work the first nine Steps, we prepare ourselves for the adventure of a new life. But when we approach Step Ten we commence to put our A.A. way of living to practical use, day by day, in fair weather or foul. Then comes the acid test: can we stay sober, keep in emotional balance, and live to good purpose under all conditions?
I believe this paragraph, written by Bill, sums it up perfectly.
The first nine Steps prepare us -- for the adventure of a new life.
When we approach Step 10, we commence "to put our A.A. way of life" (the first nine Steps) to practical use,
day by day (Steps 1-10 being the 24 hr per day, One Day At a Time "Design for Living" ).
in fair weather -- or, foul.
THEN comes the acid test:
a. Can we stay sober,
b. Stay in emotional balance,
c. And, live to good purpose,
Under ALL conditions?
Then, in Step Eleven, he writes:
Bill W. Step 11, wrote:There is a direct linkage among self-examination, meditation, and prayer. Taken separately, these practices can bring much relief and benefit. But when they are logically related and interwoven, the result is an unshakable foundation for life. Now and then we may be granted a glimpse of that ultimate reality which is God's kingdom. And we will be comforted and assured that our own destiny in that realm will be secure for so long as we try, however falteringly, to find and do the will of our own Creator.
" the direct linkage among self-examination (Step 10, meditation, and prayer (Step 11)
"But when they are logically related and interwoven, the result is an unshakable foundation for life. Now and then we may be granted a glimpse of that ultimate reality which is God's kingdom."
What I understand him saying is: Steps 1 through 9, prepare us for a "Daily Living" of Steps 10, 11 & 12.
And, when Steps 10 (self examination and inventory) AND 11, prayer & meditation -- provide that "unshakable foundation" so that we can stay sober, keep in emotional balance & live life to good purpose -- in ALL conditions.
My question has been: "How can we expect to have any foundation at ALL -- to prepare us for the challenges ahead, so that we CAN use the "AA Way of Life" to guide us -- from times of chaos and crisis in sobriety -- into the vision of God's will for our lives AND experience that vision of living in "God's kingdom" -- UNLESS, we have taken Steps 1 through 9?
Thus, the longer time we spend out there -- staying sober, one day at a time, without building that "foundation" and constructing the "arch, whereby we shall pass to freedom" (taking the Steps) -- we're like a ticking time bomb -- waiting to go off and any unsuspecting moment.
I believe that this is the primary reason -- that our Founder's & Pioneer's -- who's stories are in the first edition of the Big Book -- took the Steps IMMEDIATELY upon sobering up physically. And, they learned, that this was NECESSARY to be able to maintain our sobriety, and emotional balance, and continue the Good Life.