The Third and Eleventh Steps were difficult for me in the beginning because of the word “will”; “our will” in the Third Step and “His will” in the Eleventh. “Will” sounds so demanding, definitive, coercive, and exacting. However, in the process of writing about Step Three, I came to understand it as “God’s direction.”

I believe God is always trying to help us by pointing out the best direction for us to go. God’s messages and messengers are at meetings, on the phone and the internet, in the literature, in our own Step work, and all around us. We have the choice to go in the suggested direction; our Higher Power cannot force us, any more than anyone else could force us to lose or gain weight.

Recently, I realized that a wonderful source of God’s direction for me is in program slogans. I read many of them each morning as part of my practice in OA literature-reading, prayer, and meditation, and often a slogan will pop up in my mind during the day as a clue to my next best direction. For example, when the temptation to give advice to my husband strikes and I want to instruct him on the best way (i.e., my way) to do something, I remember “live and let live,” “mind my own business,” or “how important is it?”. When I’m trying without success to get a jar open, I think “easy does it.” Sure enough, using a screwdriver does the trick. “There but for the grace of God” can help me deal with unpleasant people. “This too shall pass” and “one day at a time” are critical to my serenity when one of my chronic health issues flares up. When trying to make a food decision, “keep it simple” is always the best choice for me. Finally, “let go and let God” is probably the best direction I can go most of the time, with the Serenity Prayer challenging me to identify the pertinent issues to be relinquished.

The Third and Eleventh Steps seemed marvelously obscure to me in the beginning, but reading, thinking, talking, and writing about them has helped me come to my own understanding of their intent. The slogans are one way for me to find God’s direction for me today, one day at a time.

— Carmen, Virginia USA


In Slogan Direction, the writer sees “God’s messages and messengers” in many aspects of program, including in the Tools, Step work, and the members of our Fellowship. Take a moment to reflect and write a list of God’s top messages and messengers in your recovery. How might you prepare yourself to listen?

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