Sobriety is a gift. It's not a gift that is like love; it is a manifestation of love. I think it's rare that anybody gets sober by themselves. Certainly, I think the core of getting sober is contained in the first three steps of the twelve-step programs:
Early in my sobriety, when I was looking at these steps, I was mystified. Step 1 was easy enough; it was irrefutable. I had no problem believing that God could retrieve me from the life I had led. I wondered about the third step. What does that look like? Ultimately, they seemed to be platitudes, mere assertions.
One Friday afternoon, I went to a meeting. The leaders discussed the first three steps as newcomers to the program often hear them:
- I can't.
- He can.
- I think I'll let Him.
I had heard these over and over again, but they had no power for me until it flashed on me that there was something that ties these together, underlies them all, gives them strength:
He wants to.
And that is love.