“Praying only for a knowledge of God’s will and the power to carry it out.”
This is one line in the 11th step: knowledge and power.
The journey of sobriety is a journey that leads to an awakening; in fact, it is several awakenings along the way. We have acknowledged powerlessness. We have learned about reliance on God. We have become more aware of our wrongdoings, the pain we have caused. We have acknowledged and admitted our faults and sought to restore the relationships we realize we have harmed.
And if this journey is to continue, we must continue learning. We must continue seeking. We must continue striving to aid and support others instead of drawing inward and hiding away from everyone else.
We do this by praying, meditating, reading, journaling, or any other number of practices. We intentionally enter into the presence of God in order to understand God’s will for our lives.
This part of the 12 step journey is one of those rather obvious places of overlap with our spiritual journeys.
As we continue on the path to know and be closer to God, we learn so many things about ourselves along the way. As we learn about our lack of power and need for God, our shortcomings and need for repentance, our need to restore relationships, we come to a place where we are ready to continue moving forward.
In order to move forward, we must continue learning–increasing our knowledge.
We spend time in prayer and meditation. We spend time reflecting and listening. And through those processes, we learn and discern the paths our lives should follow.
But we need a step to add to that knowledge: the power to carry it out.
Whether we are talking about our sobriety or our spirituality (or a combination of the two), we need to have the strength to carry out those things we have been able to discern.
That power comes from a number of sources. First, it comes from a reliance on God, a Higher Power, something from outside of you. We must learn to rely on a greater source for help.
Second, simply from the fact that we have made it this far. The fact that you are alive and making it through the day (no matter how much you may be struggling) is evidence of the power you have.
Third, from community. The greatest gift 12 Step groups have given me is the gift of community. I know I am not alone. Additionally, I think this is the gift that churches should be giving to their members. We need other people in our lives strengthening us and encouraging us through all that we face.
As we continue our journeys, we pray for insight and knowledge. We pray for power and strength.
And we are able to continue moving.