In the Chapter to the Agnostics on page 57 we read:
“What is this but a miracle of healing? Yet its elements are simple. Circumstances made him willing to believe. He humbly offered himself to his Maker-then he knew.”
This is my favorite passage in the Big Book. It describes my AA experience perfectly - What it was like, what happened, and what it’s like now. It reminds me that my recovery is a miracle. It is nothing I do, but everything God does.
I heard there is no in-between when it comes to believing in miracles. Either I believe everything is a miracle or I believe nothing is. I never believed in miracles before I came to AA. I relied on science to provide a plausable explanation for everything that happened. If I didn’t understand it with my mind, if I could not explain it, it simply wasn't real. Today that's all changed.
When the obsession was removed from me I didn't label it "miracle" at the time, but I did find it strange. After all, I drank almost every day for thirty years. I'd been getting drunk twice a day for the past eight months while I pretended to look for work. Now, before my first AA meeting, before getting a sponsor and taking the steps, before practicing any principles, the desire to drink magically vanished from consciousness. What the hell had happened? Today I know what happened. I was ready.
God had been setting me up for this miracle for thirty years. I had been living in a constant state of dis-ease for as long as I could remember. Then there were the drunk driving arrests, the financial chaos, the divorce, the job losses. My disease convinced me that all these things could have happened to anybody. After all I was winning the game of life. I had success, money in the bank, new cars and fancy vacations. Yet, deep down I was plagued with a growing sense of dissatisfaction that no amount of material stuff could take away. Today I see all this pain and suffering was grace -- God's way of preparing me for the miracle of recovery.
I find the phrase "then he knew" to be downright mystical. Then he knew what? I know much less today than when I walked into my first meeting twenty years ago. I know that I feel better when I'm living a life of love and service. I know there is a plan for everyone of us even if I don't know what the plan is. I know that all the sickness, disease, war and poverty in our world is not the result of some cruel God punishing us for our so called “sins” but a loving God simply setting us up for a miracle.