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Flip the Switch

Response to AA’s Book, Ch. 4 “We Agnostics”

The human mind makes excuses to justify what it cannot fully grasp. In chapter 4 of AA’s book, titled “We Agnostics,” we read about this phenomena as applied to faith in a higher power, or God.

For agnostics, a belief in God cannot be justified because of any number of excuses; they haven’t honestly or thoroughly examined the facts, or they write off religion because they’ve been hurt, misunderstood or experienced hypocrisy that reveals humanness. Maybe agnostics don’t want to believe in God because they will not allow themselves to be open to spiritual matters. The irony is, as the author explains, we have faith in lights turning on when we flip a switch, yet we do not know how the energy is dispersed so finitely, or where the energy comes from and how it actually works. We just believe, largely due to the experience that connects every flip with light resulting.

Yet, the author demonstrates that beating addiction requires faith in God. Without faith, sobriety must be obtained through sheer will over mind and matter or rational thinking. But AA’s community, 12 Steps and sponsors do not have the power to prevent our minds from turning back to behaviors our mind and body actually desire, whether it’s a mental obsession or physical addiction. While AA brings the power of community, the backbone of the program relies on surrendering our will to God, submitting to the healing process and His guidance.

Dr. Billy Graham once said something like, “We may not see the wind, but we see the effects of the wind.” So it is with faith in God. Our eyes may not see God, but we can see the effects. The author credits faith to helping millions of people overcome alcoholism — in other words seeing the effects of the wind. Yet, with these countless examples, the agnostic will excuse it as a brainwashed cult, outright lies or utter craziness. Their mind won’t let the light in because they dismiss faith as the answer.

Faith grows on you. Every time the lights turn on, our belief gets stronger in the switch. With God, even small steps of faith are honored by Him. For example, an agnostic may muster the littlest amount of faith by asking for more information about God, or deciding not to discount other’s faith, or listening to a reading from the Bible. Incredibly, God is not silent and shows up with faith is exercised, even the smallest of steps.

My faith took large strides a few weeks ago after reading the first part of the AA book. I was encouraged to ask God in faith to take away the burden of this disease, and to replace it with his love and a sober mind. Within minutes, I felt clarity and knew what I had to do. My faith grew because I flipped the switch without having to know how it works.

This is one switch I’ll never turn off again. God is far more than a simple electrical connection. He has demonstrated His love for me, while teaching me of His love. I don’t need all the facts and figures about my faith, I just know it works. Just like that light switch.

Flip it on, and watch God move.

— By David Jahr, APR

2 Comments

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