2nd Edition, Revised Material

Only Willingness Is Required

Reprinted with some edits from my May 2021 message.

I remember an incident early in my sobriety that both stunned and taught me a great lesson.

I was obsessed with being willing to be an instrument of God as I understood God. I kept sharing at meetings my willingness and my frustration at trying to be a pre-eminent representative of the AA Fellowship. I was constantly aware and grateful for my sobriety; I was grateful for the life lessons I was learning for the first time; I was, basically, growing up in public for all to see and I was proud of that.

Why, then, wasn’t everyone appropriately impressed? Trying to emulate me? Being grateful for my willingness and honesty?

The woman that eventually became my best friend – became a big sister to me – pulled me aside after a meeting one evening and asked me: “Don, are you actually trying to do God’s will? I ask this because I think you trying to do God’s job. No wonder you are frustrated.”

What a wake-up call that was. After over 30 years of sobriety that memory remains very vibrant.

This quote from the Course in Miracles reinforces how simple this course is: “…do not attempt to make yourself holy to be ready [for experiencing God’s guidance]. That is but to confuse your role with God’s. Atonement cannot come to those who think that they must first atone, but only to those who offer it nothing more than simple willingness to make way for it.” (T-18.IV.5:4)

From Miracles Magazine – May 2021 – www.miraclecenter.org: “God’s help is available right now. We don’t have to be able to quote chapter and verse from the Course [or from any other spiritual discipline], to have completed the workbook perfectly, or understand every line in the [dogmatic literature] for God to help us. We don’t need to find an “expert” teacher in this world in order to learn how to understand or study [spiritual guidance].

‘We don’t even have to release our anger over a specific situation or release our judgment about a particular person. We are asked to come to God in our suffering, our confusion, and our feelings of inadequacy and ask for help. The Course continues by telling us this: “You prepare your mind for it [God’s answer for our lives] only to the extent of recognizing that you want it above all else. It is not necessary that you do more; indeed, it is necessary that you realize that you cannot do more.” (T-18.IV.1:4)

If you personally need to pray to the God of your understanding for help in dealing with a problem, I suggest you simply ask Spirit to help you become willing to really be willing to let God solve the issue or change you the way He wants to – not the way you want Him to. That’s all that’s required.

Donald L. O'Dell
September 14, 2023

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