Surrendering to God's Will

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Surrendering to God's Will

Postby Timothy3012 » Sat Sep 23, 2017 3:25 am

Hello all,

I just read this and thought how relevant it is to the AA program. It was originally written as a letter by John Newton (the chap who wrote the song Amazing Grace). I have shortened and edited the whole letter to the bits I really liked.

Letter;

''It is indeed natural for us to wish and to plan, and it is merciful of God to disappoint our plans and to cross our wishes. For we cannot be safe, much less happy, but in proportion as we are weaned from our own wills, and made simply desirous of being directed by His guidance...

The schemes we form look so plausible and convenient, that when they are broken we are ready to say, 'What a pity!' We try again, and with no better success. We are grieved, and perhaps angry, and plan out another, and so on. At length, and in a course of time, experience and observation begin to convince us that we are not able to choose aright for ourselves...

The great and unexpected benefit He intends us, by all the discipline we meet with, is to tread down our wills and bring them into subjection to His. So far as we attain to this, we are out of the reach of disappointment; for when the will of God can please us, we shall be pleased every day...

We judge of things by their present appearances, but God sees them in their consequences. If we could see likewise, we would be perfectly of His same mind; but as we cannot, it is an unspeakable mercy that He will manage for us - whether we are pleased with His management, or not...

Let us cast down the load we are unable to carry, and if God be our Shepherd, refer all, and trust all, to Him.''

My thoughts -

I know this letter sounds rather intense but, to me personally, it does make a lot of sense. It all boils down to accepting that I don't know what is in my best interest, how could I since I can only see my very limited perspective? I can only see what is directly in front of me and even then - I am coming to realise - a lot of what I think I see has actually been twisted by my unwell mind.

To let go and let God, in my experience, means letting go of my judgement about what my life should look like. It means accepting that I have handed my life and my will over to the care of a loving God who has now become the Manager over my life. I would have kept the management position, but my horrific experience of trying to manage my life with alcoholism has shown me i really am not fit for the position!

That last line of, 'let us cast down the load we are unable to carry...' really speaks to me. I am sick and tired of trying to run every little thing in my life. It causes me extreme pain trying to manage my work situation, finances, relationships, emotions etc. I am starting to learn to step back, get out of my own way, and let God be the Director of my life.

All i need to focus on is whatever is placed in front of me - and even then, I constantly pray to God to enable me to carry out whatever that thing is...

This is all just my own experience and beliefs, and the great thing about AA is that we are all given the respect and tolerance to walk our own spiritual paths. Whether a person is an atheist, a christian, a muslim, and so forth...it should not matter in AA. We are just a bunch of drunks who have been given a way to stay sober :)
Last edited by Timothy3012 on Sun Sep 24, 2017 2:21 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Submission to God's Will

Postby Noels » Sat Sep 23, 2017 6:32 am

Hi Timothy :D usually I relate to you very well but unfortunately not in this instance. Perhaps its because of our personal viewpoints and experiences with our personal Higher Power. The Higher Power I rely on does not let me repeat things over and over and over and over again and sweeps in to rescue me "just before breaking point". The Higher Power I rely on doesn't allow me to break over and over and over and over again either. Nope. The Higher Power I rely on is quite happy when I'm happy. As a matter of fact - when I am happy the entire Heavens sing and dance in ecstasy because having just one genuine praise, happy and thankful heart light up all of Creation.

Be well and God Bless. At God Speed.
Love and Light
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Re: Submission to God's Will

Postby highcostofliving » Sat Sep 23, 2017 7:14 am

Thanks Timothy... as one just 4 days in, the hardest part for me right now is wrapping my head around the Higher Power. (and surrendering to it).. I'm one of those whose had dismissed it completely, without thought or hesitation until only recently... and still my doubts fire back at me every time I think on this, immediately rejecting any idea that pushes me to finally allowing myself to believe in something. So I really enjoyed reading someone else's thoughts on the subject... "We judge of things by their present appearances..." that leaped off the page to me.... how true that is for me. And how true it is, that I make these judgments pretty much 24/7... but I have no idea about the outcome of anything, or reasoning behind any of it... so why am I so quick to judge, and worse yet, cementing my feet to the ground in an effort to stand behind my own judgments.....

Anyways, thanks for sharing.
"The high cost of living, ain't nothin like the cost of living high" - Jamey Johnson
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Re: Submission to God's Will

Postby Timothy3012 » Sun Sep 24, 2017 2:32 am

highcostofliving wrote: "We judge of things by their present appearances..." that leaped off the page to me.... how true that is for me. And how true it is, that I make these judgments pretty much 24/7... but I have no idea about the outcome of anything, or reasoning behind any of it... so why am I so quick to judge, and worse yet, cementing my feet to the ground in an effort to stand behind my own judgments.....

Anyways, thanks for sharing.


Hey Highcostofliving,

Thanks for the reply. If it helps to know, I relate completely to your struggle! I had no idea I was even making these judgments until people pointed it out to me. My level of self-awareness was shockingly low (and still can be) - considering I was making thousands of these every single day i.e. That conversation didn't go quite the way I wanted it to go; I didn't earn quite enough money this month to feel secure; I shouldn't have to sit in traffic for so long!

I heard someone in a share tape mention this old Zen story and it highlights really well the insanity of making these types of judgments;

...

Once upon the time there was an old farmer who had worked his crops for many years. One day his horse ran away. Upon hearing the news, his neighbors came to visit. “Such bad luck,” they said sympathetically.

“Maybe,” the farmer replied.

The next morning the horse returned, bringing with it three other wild horses. “How wonderful,” the neighbors exclaimed.

“Maybe,” replied the old man.

The following day, his son tried to ride one of the untamed horses, was thrown, and broke his leg. The neighbors again came to offer their sympathy on his misfortune.

“Maybe,” answered the farmer.

The day after, military officials came to the village to draft young men into the army. Seeing that the son’s leg was broken, they passed him by. The neighbors congratulated the farmer on how well things had turned out.

“Maybe,” said the farmer.

....

Hope this helps!

Tim.
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Re: Submission to God's Will

Postby Timothy3012 » Sun Sep 24, 2017 2:57 am

Noels wrote:Hi Timothy :D usually I relate to you very well but unfortunately not in this instance. Perhaps its because of our personal viewpoints and experiences with our personal Higher Power. The Higher Power I rely on does not let me repeat things over and over and over and over again and sweeps in to rescue me "just before breaking point". The Higher Power I rely on doesn't allow me to break over and over and over and over again either. Nope. The Higher Power I rely on is quite happy when I'm happy. As a matter of fact - when I am happy the entire Heavens sing and dance in ecstasy because having just one genuine praise, happy and thankful heart light up all of Creation.

Be well and God Bless. At God Speed.
Love and Light
Noels


Hey Noels,

Thanks for the reply. I totally agree with you, I believe My Higher Power loves it when I'm happy and I have experienced more happiness in recovery than I even thought possible. I once heard someone share that they realised their Higher Power wanted them to be happy far more than they wanted it for themselves. That really stuck in my brain because my self-esteem was so low when I first got sober that I felt as if I deserved to be constantly unhappy.

Just in my opinion, I do believe my God allows me to make my own mistakes. Just like parents allow their children to choose for themselves in certain areas that arent going to cause fatal or significant harm, I also believe God lets me try different things and when I have seen that those things are no good for me, He is always there to show me a better way. (I can't have an opinion on the many people that do end up dying from this illness...i can't explain that. I have made myself miserable asking this question and the only answer I have been able to settle on is that it's God's business, and not mine. I am not qualified to make a judgement on something that i beyond me to understand.)

My drinking history is a great example of this. I spent years trying to wrest happiness out of life by 'managing well', and then medicating with alcohol the stress of trying, and failing, to manage. I had to hit bottom in my life before I could even consider coming into recovery. God allowed me to cause myself a LOT of pain and then, out of that very pain, I became open-minded enough to accept there may be a different way.

Anyway, this is what I love about AA; we can have differing views about spirituality and it doesn't have to be a big deal! We are all walking our own paths :)
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Re: Surrendering to God's Will

Postby Mike O » Sun Sep 24, 2017 12:44 pm

Thanks for the share, Timothy. I see things just as you do.
The difficulty, of course, comes in actually setting down that burden ... in case God doesn't handle it properly!!
We improve a little every day in this.
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Re: Surrendering to God's Will

Postby Noels » Sun Sep 24, 2017 1:53 pm

Thanks for that Timothy :D Now that you've put it into your own words it actually kinda sound like our Higher Power could be the same or at least very similar :D not that you need to even worry about that cause our Higher Power / God / Creator is a personal issue. I personally believe that regardless of what we call our Higher Power - God, Creator, Jehova or Universal Intelligence. ... it is one and the same entity anyway.
Youve been doing really well staying alcohol free and I sense a truthful honesty in your shares so you keep it up. Keep doing what you've been doing cause it's clearly working. :D
Looking forward to more shares from you. You're helping me as well by sharing :D
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Re: Surrendering to God's Will

Postby kdub720 » Thu Sep 28, 2017 2:38 pm

They higher power theme is the only thing consistent in my recovery. Things constantly change in every environment and my trust in the higher power and the ability to surrender my own desires Is all that has gotten me throught the last few years. I love how this always comes back in discussion. I never get tired of hearing that same old dreminder,. to trust the higher power in all that I do. Thanks again All.
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