19 October 2008

Act for yourself. (step 3.)

3. Made a decision to return our will and our lives to ourselves instead of an imagined higher power.

Every time I see an athlete praise a deity for one of their own accomplishments, my first thought is "c'mon, give yourself some credit." It is, after all, the athlete themselves who wakes early to train, practice the requisite skills, keep themselves in shape with diet and conditioning, and sometimes even risks bodily harm (and legal action) by using drugs to enhance performance.

Oddly enough, the higher powers are never at fault when the athlete fails. If two coaches pray to the same god that their team win, one team will still lose. Is it the team whose coach prays louder or better the winner? No. It is the team that plays best, or, at a minimum, makes the fewest mistakes.

Similarly, there are those who ask deity du jour for help with getting a new job, securing that (car, home, business) loan, getting pregnant (or not) and any number of things. You might get the job if you have worked to gain the qualifications and there is not a more qualified applicant. You may be just as capable as you closest competitor, but her personality is a better fit for the company. You may have applied for a job for which you are not fully qualified. (There's nothing wrong with challenging yourself.)

If you don't get the job, you can say "Oh well, it wasn't god's will," but this is a dead end on the road to self improvement. It would be more productive to analyze what went wrong and attempt to rectify it. i.e. "I need more skills in xxxxxx," or "maybe I would be better working as a yyyyyyy."

When the imaginary divine plan is removed, you get to take credit for your success, but you must also take responsibility for your shortcomings. It takes courage, but you can do it.

Think Well,



Bill Cooney said...

Terrific post! I think I'd like to attend your virtual Theists Anonymous meetings. As I recently said in reference to another self-help group, I'll even make the coffee.

I love your point that ridding one's self of God and religion is an act of accepting personal responsibility.

I'm looking forward to checking out your blog more thoroughly. :)

Lee Vegas said...

Thanks, William. I'm new at this and don't post as often as I'd like. I'll be hard pressed to finish the 12 steps by the end of the year.

Stop by whenever you like. Comments and input are always welcome.


McCraw Productions said...

It's really troubling that the positive things that happen in a believer's life are attributed to the will of the lord, while all negative actions are clearly the work of the devil.
In regards to your comparison between addiction and religion is an important reference to this aspect of personal responsibility, you have the power to quit. You don't need anything outside of yourself to help you. You have the strength to overcome the problems that face you. That attitude of self-reliance and self-worth is lost when you plea for help to a god.