“….as you understand God.”   The powers that be in the 12 Step programs have left “understanding God” up to us poor wretches.  That is good.  At least they’re not wearing weird clothes and telling us what God is.  On the other hand, my problem is:  I don’t understand God.  I’ve been trying for years, and still am not any closer.

It’s pretty much a given that God is not Michael Angelo’s white-haired guy pointing down just out of reach of Adam (a cruel image).

But what IS God?

The other day while meditating on the “Third Step” to “turn my will and my life over to care of God as I understand God,” it came to me that I don’t have to understand God in order to do that.  While it may seem illogical to turn my will over to something I don’t understand, I found it great relief.

In fact, I’m pretty sure God doesn’t want me to understand Her/Him/It/Them.  According to Judaism, God prefers to be called by a name that is unpronounceable: YHVH. (Tell me God doesn’t have a sense of humor.)

The fact is, I don’t understand electricity, but I can turn on a light switch.  My automobile is a mystery, but I can turn on the ignition and it works.  There is so much in life that I don’t understand:  computers, the Internet, relationships—you name it, but I can still use them.  I can feel the warmth from the furnace even if I don’t see it

Life is a big mystery—and God, or Yahway, or the Tao, or whatever you call it—the Big Whatever—is the Biggest Mystery of all.

So, I’m beginning to see that it is not “understanding” but “willingness” that operates the only remote control we need.  Touch the willingness “on” button and see what happens.  If you don’t think Mystery is a functioning energy, you may be in for a big surprise.

I’m constantly surprised.


  1. Yes, I am constantly surprised too!
    Lately I have tried using an image of myself riding in a chariot (not that I have ever done so), and taking the reins that I am holding, and handing them over to God (whoever/whatever that is). I do this every morning. I find it quite helpful.
    Thanks for sending this!

  2. cheers, Katherine. i don’t think our human finite minds will ever be able to fully grasp the Infinite, but it certainly doesn’t stop me from tripping over stumbling blocks by getting too focussed on the “What” as opposed to the “how.” i’m too intent on getting what i feel i must have at any given moment when i’m insistent about the “What” – if i can figure out what It/He/She is, then i’ll know what to do to align with that Entity and get what it is i’m praying/meditating for. self-will run riot, yeah? so, thanks for bringing me back today to how it’s done – get willing – and leave the great I Am to be what It is. it takes me off the hook from needless “stuff.” Seb

  3. It’s so easy to get hung up on trying to figure it all out, get the Key, find the Secret. Eh. Every where I go now, it’s about Being Present, Taking the Next Step…whatever it is, and then letting go. Quite a dance. I stumble too.

  4. Now I see where some of the wisdom comes from in your experience. Good for you. I go to UA. Heard of them? Fantastic….getting me out of my CAVE!

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