When you hear the word God, what does it feel like to you? How DO you feel? Do you feel like I do? Every time I say or hear the word God, it sticks in my upper chest like it doesn’t belong there. Shocked? Don’t be. It is just a word and it is just a feeling.
First, let’s go to definition time. As I may have warned in previous posts; I tend to lean on definitions because it helps me to focus on the subject. If I don’t fully comprehend my subject or it’s origin I like to pull the old Merriam-Webster:
Simple Definition of god :
God: the perfect and all-powerful spirit or being that is worshipped especially by Christians, Jews, and Muslims as the one who created and rules the universe : a spirit or being that has great power, strength, knowledge, etc., and that can affect nature and the lives of people : one of various spirits or beings worshipped in some religions : a person and especially a man who is greatly loved or admired : Christian Science – the incorporeal divine Principle ruling over all as eternal Spirit, infinite Mind a
And then there are these Gods. Many Gods. Lots of them. The Greeks, they kind of made sense. They had a God for everything. If you put them altogether, they make up well; humanity right?
How about the word spirit? That feels good. Spirit feels nice to me. It feels more inclusive of how I want my belief systems to be and those surrounding me. If I know the person sitting next to me if bringing in faith and love in their presence, I feel the spirit of life around me and that is a whole and complete feeling.
So, how do We Agnostics and atheists and non-God believers handle the amount of the word GOD in AA? How can we relate when that word is the default for spirit and faith in our meetings? How does it bind us? How come we say the ‘Our Father’? (which I still don’t care for myself but each time I say it, I try to say it louder and with meaning)
One story that I heard recently at a meeting made the relationship between the difficulty of the GOD concept and how to view it a bit easier. In the “halls” of AA, I have heard people say things like “look at that lamp” that can be your higher power. Ain’t that cute? It kind of is. After all, we are all just a bunch of whizzing, spinning molecules right? Well, the particular speaker in the meeting was relaying a process by which someone proposed to a group of people to picture a bridge. That would be their own bridge as example. If you had a bridge what would it look like. The concept is pretty beautiful if you elaborate. Recall my letter to alcohol? I drew a bridge. On one side was life and the other death. If I continued to depend on the bridge of alcoholism in my life; it would start to decay, become unusable and ultimately I would die from the disease of alcoholism. Let’s take a peak at a scary AF bridge. (might as well be a clown on the other end) There are a lot of unknowns in that picture.
Now lets take away the alcohol bridge of “dread.” Lets think of what a bridge would look like that I could have that is a bit more stable, beautiful and reliable. When I think of my higher power, it holds me up and allows me to safely cross. It gives me hope and strength because I can rely on this notion that if I let myself go across on the spiritual level; all will be OK. For those of us without a notion of a “guy” who is the almighty God, we can lean on the pure existence of a higher power (bridge) holding us up. In other words.
It is not easy to understand the spirit of a higher power. It takes reflection, patience and probably some meditation. I like to take deep breaths and remember to “let go.” So, what does my bridge look like? Well, this is very telling. I cannot decide. I love two bridges so depending on my mood, one is simple and one looks all blinded out like Snoop and Cinderella should own it; but for now we will take the good old Madison County bridge.