Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe….Voltaire
To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible…Thomas Aquinas
I am not a great storyteller. I am more comfortable speaking directly- in bullet points and bottom lines. But there is one story I heard not too long ago that I really loved, and it really resonated with me. It goes something like this…
We have all been to the circus and watched the acrobats walk across the tightrope. It is nerve-wracking to watch someone walk such a long way, and on such a thin wire. But legend has it there was an acrobat who would actually not only walk across the tightrope but push a baby in a wheelbarrow across it as well. Every night, year after year, the acrobat did this trick and did it successfully. If you’re in the audience and watch this act over and over, you begin to believe that the acrobat will not fall, and neither will the baby in the wheelbarrow. But if you had faith you would be willing to take the baby’s place…
Belief versus faith … very similar to a belief in God and an experience with Power. All my life I believed in God. Mostly because my family, particularly my grandparents, told me it was the right thing to do. But when faced with powerlessness around alcoholism and addiction, that belief wasn’t enough. What I really needed was an experience with Power and a strong and abiding faith, which ultimately I got through a spiritual awakening as a result of the 12 Step process.
So today, at this moment, I am in California at the Fellowship of the Spirit West conference. I am in a dorm room in the Mater Dolorosa Monastery. I am speaking tomorrow night at 8 pm. Some of my heroes in recovery are here, as well as a ton of people I have never met. I am nervous. I am wondering how in the world a girl from South Georgia, crushed by alcoholism and addiction, reborn through the 12 Steps, ends up in a monastery in Sierra Madre, California. Such is the work of my Higher Power, conceived of in a 2nd step, and communed with daily.
And even though I have fear, and even though I scratch my head in wonder, I just keep showing up, and to the best of my ability doing exactly what I think God would want me to do. Not perfectly, not even close, but with heart and grit.
So that’s how my belief has blossomed into faith…one little (messy) step at a time.
Marsha Stone, CEO