Bill said, "We are only operating a spiritual kindergarten in which people are enabled to get over drinking and find the grace to go on living to better effect. Each man's theology has to be his own quest, his own affair." (letter 1954)
I don't think I could have swallowed that kindergarten idea if alcohol hadn't beaten me into a state of reasonableness & open-mindedness!
And I knew all about God. In fact, I filled in for Him if he was too busy!
At one of my first meetings, an old-timer told me, "There is a God, you're not it & after that you're on your own."
This meant, to me, that not only did I need my own conception of God, but I needed to know
God, not just about
Him. I needed to experience
God and develop a relationship with my God. So, I had to trash can all my previous ideas and start over.
I did this, at first, by experiencing God through others. Their words and actions were God communicating to me in a way that I didn't really understand, but was very clear on another level.
The book tells me that the "point" is to be willing to grow along spiritual lines. That says - time to move on from kindergarten. Now, I needed to experience God more personally, in a way that would transform me and have a true effect on all areas of my life.
How to do that? Steps 4 & 5 to the rescue! I had to clear away all that was blocking me from God & tell it to someone, in order to even begin.
If I want to enter into a relationship with you, but I'm lugging around all this baggage & yesterday's garbage, I can't truly experience you because I'm too full of my own junk.
Once that wreckage is removed, I am free to actually participate
in a relationship. I can re-direct my focus to you because I'm not stuck on me.
But, like all relationships, I can take it for granted & start twisting it to MY will and so:
Here we go steps 10 & 11!
It's continuous spring cleaning, as well as time spent in humble gratitude with the Power that so lovingly restored me to sanity. (Some would argue that one!)
To me, "willing to grow along spiritual lines" doesn't mean just being better. It means I am striving to grow into the image of my Creator. To be a grace & a blessing to others; offering myself in loving, compassionate service.
Nice thoughts. I can't do them by my own power! So, I voluntarily return to that spiritual kindergarten to relearn honesty, humility, unselfishness & love. To keep bringing to mind that I AM an alcoholic and can't even manage my own life. I need the help of God & others to grow.
My religious practices complement my program beautifully. It's my own quest & it's very fulfilling.
Thanks, Tim. Time for milk and cookies!