Step Three

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

“Practicing Step Three is like the opening of a door which to all appearances is still closed and locked. All we need is a key, and the decision to swing the door open. There is only one key, and it is called willingness. Once unlocked by willingness, the door opens almost of itself, and looking through it, we shall see a pathway beside which is an inscription. It reads: ‘This is the way to a faith that works.’ In the first two Steps we were engaged in reflection. We saw that we were powerless over alcohol, but we perceived that faith of some kind, if only in A.A. itself, is possible to anyone. These conclusions did not require action; they required only acceptance.”

Indeed, Step Three calls for us to actually do something -- and that is to make a decision. We need not have a concrete image of God (that will come); we need only have faith that there is a Higher Power, and then to turn over our will to said Something or Someone.

During our affliction, self-will almost killed us. Step Three is about transforming self-will into willingness. Taking this Step will avail us to a new, more beneficial form of willpower.

Some might say that they’re trying to be independent, not more dependent. That dependencies are what brought them to A.A. and dependence upon Something or Someone else is counterintuitive. Those folks would do well to consider electricity. We depend upon electricity, and electricity, in turn, makes us more independent. Thus is it with a Higher Power of our own understanding.

Just as this faith is open to anyone who is willing, so too is A.A. As it clearly states in Tradition Three:

The only requirement for A.A. membership is a desire to stop drinking.

No, A.A. wasn’t always open to everyone. In fact, there were some early stage experiments with rules and regulations. But only by being open can A.A. truly succeed.

Consequently, the desire to stop drinking becomes what unites the members of A.A. Be they the head of a white shoe law firm or crew-chief of a blacktop paving company; be he the beggar or the thief. All are welcome.

And so it is here at Recovery Boot Camp. We are open to all men who desire to stop using drugs and alcohol. Of course you’ll have to take the Steps when you get here. And you’ll be in for some serious Basic Training. But we’ve found that those who do the work can and do achieve sobriety.

(Taken from -- and inspired by -- the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous)

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