Tag Archives: faith


It was a hot and humid day.  I think that may be the tropical equivalent of “It was a dark and stormy night,” but perhaps “It was a hot and humid night” fits better.  No matter.

The weather has been miserable.  Yesterday the temp was 96 degrees F. with a heat index of 105 and humidity in the high 80’s. We’re not expecting much different today.  Pity the poor guys who have to work out in this stuff, keeping up spoiled rich folks’ landscaping, but on the other hand it’s good that they have jobs so that they can eat and send money back to their families in whatever country they came from.

Americans today simply don’t “get,” for the most part, that we were all immigrants at some point in our family history.  My family came to French Canada in the mid-17th Century.  Thank God for that!  (Or maybe not; if they were still in Brittany we’d have free health care!)  No matter.  They wanted to make their own way, and were willing to work at whatever it took to realize their dreams.

Your family was probably the same: hard workers busting their asses so that we, their descendants could enjoy the necessities of life: TV, mobile phones, cars at 10% below dealer cost, and the best politicians money can buy.  Everyone took their turn at the bottom, and that’s the way it goes today.

Today’s reading in Answers in the Heart included this phrase, “It is a moment of wonder when we have something in our lives that requires the best we have to give.”  Our forefathers gave that kind of effort for us, and so that those who came after them would enjoy the same opportunities. 

I try to imagine the feelings of those Frenchmen who first set foot on the shores of the St. Lawrence: relief because they were on dry land at last, fear of the unknown, uncertain futures, but an absolute conviction that they were going to do the best they could.  How brave they were!

I wonder if I have that kind of conviction, or that willingness to set off into the unknown without even the certainty of getting to my destination?  What faith must have driven them?  What circumstances back in Europe must have given them the push to make a home in the New World?  Do I have that kind of guts?

Yes.  I’m in recovery.  I’ve forsaken the known for the unknown, the misery of addiction for the scary but hopeful future promised by those who went before me.  First I had faith, and then I came to believe. Now I know.

I came to recovery a stranger in a strange land.  I remained because I saw the promise.  I left the comfort zone (finally) and did the work — something that I can be proud of.  I try to pass that on to others, so that they can experience the benefits too; the way our forefathers did, back before we got spoiled by the fruits of their toil.

I wonder if they’d be proud of me?

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Came To Believe

by Bill

The Second Step reads “Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”  It gets a lot of attention because of that “power greater than ourselves” part, but not so much about the “believe” part.


Just what does it mean to believe?  We throw the term around a lot, and it means different things at different times.  Take “I believe for every drop of rain that falls, a flower grows,” for example.  Hundreds of billions of raindrops fall from one big thunderstorm.  If the statement were true we’d be inundated with flowers, even if they were tiny ones, and no one who’s given the idea much thought really  believes that. (Nice poetry, though.)

Then there’s the fact that I believe that the Earth is a globe, similar in shape to  the one in my office.  I don’t know that, but I’ve seen enough information leading to that conclusion that I believe it anyway. Many others do, as well.  They, and I, have faith in all that information.  We believe the people who tell us that the Earth is not flat.

Now, let’s say that I show you my fist and tell you there’s a jewel in my hand.

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A 180° Turn Still Keeps Me In The Rut

I’m always amused by the way atheists seem to feel compelled to straighten out all the believers. Seldom does one run across a person self-labeled an “Atheist” that they don’t seem eventually to drag out some ax to grind with regard to religion. It seems to me that if you don’t believe you’d just sort of ignore the issue, but I guess that’s not the case.

I suggest that a 180° turn leaves me in the same old rut, and that if I want to free myself from some perceived bondage I need to strike out for new ground. Otherwise, I’m just letting it — whatever it may be — continue to direct my life, regardless of what I choose to call myself.

It’s the same way with recovery. If I’m continually thinking about booze or drugs, then I need to question my progress. There comes a time when recovery is no longer about drinking and drugging, but rather about learning to live an already drug-free life more skillfully.

When it comes to a higher power, I try really hard to believe.  Sometimes I do better than others.  But I don’t argue about it.  I just say “I don’t know, and neither do you,” and let it go at that. Same with recovery. I just say, “No thanks, I finished my share.”