Thursday, 30 December 2010

Grace and ignorance

I've heard it said, 'God's grace lasts as long as ignorance. As soon as truth starts showing up, you're going to need to peddle hard.'

I know what is meant by this: when I was new to AA, staying sober, for a while, was entirely automatic. I was safe and protected, and enjoying the Step Ten promises without having taken any of the Steps. As time passed, I realised I needed to do the work of the Steps merely to remain sober, let alone live a life I wanted to live.

The danger with this interpretation, however, is false inference that, just because you cannot see God's grace, it is no longer available.

When the cloud of ignorance dissipates and the truth of how I have been living starts to show up, it is not God who has moved, but my consciousness which has shifted. The clouds of ignorance move from covering my thoughts and behaviour to blocking my sight of God.

God's grace, I have to believe, is totally available to everyone at all times.

But it is up to me to make sure that I take the effort necessary to remove what blocks me from accessing that grace.

Ironically, I do not have the strength, myself, to remove those blocks and need to invoke the power from which I am detached by dint of those blocks . . . to remove those blocks.

It's a terrible vicious circle.

The leap of faith required is that of making the effort to approach God by performing the preliminary work for the actual removal of the blocks (Steps Four through Nine), and, mysteriously, the power becomes available. But it is not mine to wield, it is mine to be the channel for.

The faith to take action which is patently insufficient to achieve what needs to be achieved, by treating what is obviously not enough as entirely enough.

And then I realise the power was there all along. My separation from God was only ever an optical illusion.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Worldly clamors, mostly within myself. It's almost like we crash into AA and our hands open up enough to receive the grace (metaphorically) and then as time goes on we begin to grip the steering wheel and our hands turn over and close unless we take those actions (4-9) to keep our hands open. But I don't have the power or willingness to take those actions on my own, I need the help of the power, sometimes demonstrated through someone else, to help me. Good topic.
RG