Step Three

Made a decision to turn our will and our lives
over to the care of God as we understood Him

Dear Fellow Travelers,

Step Three Essay

The farmer is resigned to the fact that having sewn his seeds his part in their growth is over and another power takes over the task of nurturing them to fruition.

Step Three is the culmination of the process started in Steps One and Two. In Step One we admitted that we need help and in Step Two we understand that the help has to come from beyond our own will power, might and resolve.

In Step Three we recognize God as the source of that Power and that God is the answer that releases us from bondage and comes to us when we look beyond ourselves for the strength, wisdom and courage to combat our compulsiveness.

For as long as we hold onto the idea that we can control any aspect of our lives we will remain imprisoned by this disease. One of the most common phrases used by 12-steppers is "hand it over!" For those recovering members this means not only handing over the big issues in our lives but also the small and seemingly insignificant matters too. Every aspect of our lives must be handed over if we are to find the recovery we seek.

The skeptics amongst us may well say that surely there are things that we can handle by our own means! But I remind you, how have we managed so far? We are essentially being asked to move out from the centre of our universe and place the God of our understanding there instead.

One stumbling block to the action of stepping aside, may be the concern that our own needs will be ignored or worse still, denied. This, however, has been catered for in the wording of the step as we are asked to "turn our will and our lives over to the care of God...!" Using the word "care" would tend to lead us to believe that we will be cared for.

So how do we hand the helm to God?

The key is willingness. We need to be willing to stop using our own will power and start seeking God in every aspect of our lives. We need to learn to understand Godís will for us and this comes with practice. At every crossroad, every choice and every decision to be made we need to search within ourselves for Godís guidance. There is no burning bush, nor lightening bolt; no angelic choir, nor resounding boom; Godís answers are found with "honesty, common sense and a sincere willingness to follow our new spiritual path." Often His path is the most difficult, but the rewards of accepting His will are bountiful and empowering.

Instead of acting on impulse, instead of using our will power, instead of being persuaded by our emotions, we are asked to give ourselves time and space to seek guidance from God.

In taking Step Three we are breaking free of the chains of indecision and fear. We are handing the burdens of our everyday lives over to the God of our understanding. "We relax and take it easy. We donít struggle... What used to be a hunch or the occasional inspiration gradually becomes a working part of the mind."

"The Third Step Prayer is an excellent way to formalize our commitment to this new willingness:"

"God, I offer myself to Thee - to build with me and to do with me as Thou wilt. Relieve me of the bondage of self, that I may better do Thy will. Take away my difficulties, that victory over them may bear witness to those I would help of Thy Power, Thy Love, and Thy Way of life. May I do Thy will always!"



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