I am coming to believe that grace is not just the "good" things that happen to me, to you and to the world. It's also the painful stuff, the ugly stuff, and the downright cruel and hateful stuff. Today I'm not the tongue chewing, piss in my pants, wet brained drunk that I was on course to be and that's God's grace for sure. But the countless men and women who do fit this description are also receiving grace. The universe is doing it's best to point them in the opposite direction of the way they are heading. They are getting bombarded with moments of clarity where they can see as I did that there is a easier, softer way to walk through this thing called life. It's part of the great mystery why some of us get it and some of us don't, but it's clear that everyone receives an equal amount of unconditional loving grace.
If not to earn grace, then why do I practice the steps? The simple answer is that I suffer when I don't practice. I fall back to sleep and begin to ignore that small voice inside. The voice that is subtly urging me in the direction of Truth. As it says in the other big book, the trick is to be of the world, but not in the world. Practicing the steps allows me to enjoy the beauty of life but not get caught up in it. Someone once wrote "there's not a shred of evidence that life is meant to be taken seriously"
It always amazes me to remember something I learned in grade school, that each snowflake is unique. There are no two snowflakes alike. If bazillions of snowflakes are all different, it's not too much of stretch for me to believe that I am unique and that I was put here for a definite purpose. By practicing the steps I move closer to finding out who I really am.