Steps 6 and 7 from the Akron Study Guide
IT IS VERY likely that we will willingly take the Sixth Step. As we scan the faces of our new friends in AA we see something we want. We see contentedness, freedom from fear, happiness, serenity and peace. We have been harassed by fear of losing our jobs, fear of divorce, fear of creditors, in fact, fears without end. We want to be like our new friends. And so, remembering back that no human agency has helped us before, we are willing to have God remove all defects of our characters.
But how do we ask Him to do it?
In the first place, we must remember at all times that we cannot bargain with God. In our drinking days we would get into trouble and pray something like this: “Oh God, if you will get me out of this jam I’ll never get in trouble again.”
But whether or not we got out of that particular jam, you were right back into another one. Instead of asking for outright help, ask for guidance. Ask merely to be shown the way, so that you can do your own part. As we said earlier in this booklet, ask for guidance for one day at a time. The days will grow into weeks, into months and into years. Yet it has been but one day at a time.
Do this humbly. Humility is sometimes difficult to attain. In our cups we were big shots. They were all out of step but Jim. Try to remember that regardless of who you are, you are but a tiny cog in the great universe. Look at a distant star at night. Remember that it took the light from that star a century or more to reach the earth. Remember the star on which you gaze could probably swallow the sun without noticing it. Consider that the earth is one of the lesser planets. And then consider your own physical insignificance. It will make you feel small and humble. And it is with that attitude that you should ask God to remove your shortcomings.
To be humble is not to grovel before men. It is not to become a doormat for society.
Yet while in the flesh we are but infinitesimal specks, always remember that the very essence of the Christian religion is that the soul of man is eternal. It is the most precious thing in the world. In the very least of us is a little spark of the divine. It is that divinity that makes us rise above the lower animals.
Humility is based on the recognition that we are the children of God. It is the consciousness of the need of a power greater than our own and a willingness to let that power control our lives.
Very simply put, humility is teachability, an open mind to the truth.
And when we can bring ourselves to this state, our recovery is well under way.