On a Scale of 0-10

On a Scale of 0-10

On a Scale of 0-10

Last night in my home group’s Big Book study, the chair of the meeting read several passages out of “We Agnostics” and gave a great share on the topic before opening it up to a show of hands. He reminded us that our literature says there are only really two options: 1.) Drink to the bitter end and die an alcoholic death, or 2.) Accept spiritual help (paraphrased).

The share’s were amazing and many people offered beautiful experience on how they approached, dealt with, embraced (or didn’t embrace) the idea of God or a power greater than themselves. One member shared something I’d never heard before (I mean literally never) and when she said it, I looked at the woman sitting next to me (who has 27 years) and we both dropped our jaw at how profound it was.  That member said this…

“I was sitting in a meeting one night, and the topic was about God (again), much to my chagrin. My home group at that time was used to me prickling at the God word as I would always share about my issues with religion and the fact that I did not want to dive into another one in Alcoholics Anonymous. Thankfully, they shared with me over and over again about what A.A. is all about, a power greater than myself, that isn’t any specific religion (or religion at all). But I thought to myself, if I wasn’t being told to follow some specific religion, I didn’t know where to start. God felt too big to define, and if I can’t define it I can’t have faith in it…right? Well, not exactly. A home group member then shared that if belief in God were to be rated on a scale of 0-10, all I had to do was just be willing to be off of zero!!! I could be at .000000001%, so long as it was not zero. This blew my mind. I wanted to make this God deal way more complicated than it needed to be. When I saw that I didn’t have to dive face first into belief, I just had to be willing to believe…I just had to dip my toe in…things started to change for me in the God area. Suddenly I was able to wrap my brain around what felt like this huge task, and a Higher Power felt like it was within my reach.”

All I had to do was just be willing to be off of zero!!!

When she shared that last night, my brain kinda exploded. I had never heard that before, but the visual that statement created in my brain was pretty darned powerful.  I could actually visualize what just a little willingness looked like on a scale of 0-10.  It looked like .000000001%!

When I shared last night, I started off by reading the sentence on page 44 which states, “If that be the case, you may be suffering from an illness which only a spiritual experience will conquer.” I shared that I was grateful that someone took me by the hand, we read that sentence together, and then he took me back to page 567 and showed me Bill’s two-word definition of what a spiritual experience was.  Then he took me back to that sentence on 44 and we re-read it, “If that be the case, you may be suffering from an illness which only a personality change will conquer.”  That also kinda blew my mind because I could grasp what it was telling me.  I could wrap my arms around the idea that I needed to have some kind of change in me for this program to take effect.

I, like so many, came into A.A. with a bunch of God baggage (trunk loads).  I had learned so much about God growing up.  The fundamental idea of God WAS deep down inside of me and I was a seeker of it.  But the additional messages attached to it were just too much for me.  I could not find a relationship with a punitive God no matter how hard I tried.  When I got to A.A. and was told I get to create my own conception of God, at first, that seemed kinda blasphemous.  But, I ended up finally being able to realize that if I was going to have any success in A.A., I was going to need to “unlearn God so I could relearn God.”

This idea of “on a scale of 0-10” where all I had to do to begin was be at .00000001% was something I could do.  Interestingly enough, without even knowing it, that was the beginning of my new faith. I’m grateful beyond measure that it has grown over the years to where I am today which is probably about 95% on most days.  There’s a peace I have today that I simply didn’t have before coming to A.A. and with that spiritual help that I accepted in the beginning (which started out at .00000001%), I HAVE had a personality change sufficient to bring about recovery from alcoholism.

In love and service,



  1. Avatar


    Says August 08, 2023 at 10:28 am

    Nicely done as always. For some, I have asked them to believe that I believe. And trust me that I will use the AA literature to show them how our program works. And that if they are willing to have an open mind, and ask for help that they will find a Higher Power and they will find the peace and serenity of our program.

    • Avatar

      Rick W.

      Says August 08, 2023 at 11:07 am

      Thanks Lore! Good and effective sponsorship is such an integral part of our program. Thank you for sharing your experience.

  2. Avatar


    Says August 08, 2023 at 11:45 am

    I too was floored once again to hear such an amazing view on faith in something greater than myself put so simply yet so profound. When asked why I keep “going to meetings” by a well meaning friend or family member, the answer is automatic. I reply with, “my life depends on it”. Then I hear something from another AA member that reminds me I am not only there to save my own life, I am there to carry the message to the still suffering alcoholic. A message I am blessed to have heard and will pass along . Thank you Rick for the summary and the reminder.

    • Avatar

      Rick W.

      Says August 08, 2023 at 1:10 pm

      Thanks Trish! I’m really grateful to walk this journey along side you.

    • Avatar

      Rick W.

      Says August 08, 2023 at 1:10 pm

      Thanks Trish! We are blessed, aren’t we?

  3. Avatar

    Bridget B.

    Says August 08, 2023 at 4:55 pm

    Great reading – reminds me of when I first got sober and We Agnostics impacted me so deeply. For years we had a long timer in this area share for people to “pray for the willingness to be willing”. Once I developed the concept of a higher power that worked for me I found that at times I still didn’t want to pray. That is when I prayed for the willingness to be willing.

    Thanks for sharing
    Bridget B

    • Rick W.

      Rick W.

      Says August 08, 2023 at 6:46 pm

      Thanks Bridget! That willingness thing is a big one right? I heard a speaker recently say, “Only an alcoholic will burn their life to the ground and then run to A.A. only to resist the clear cut direction given to them.” All it takes is a little willingness. Thanks!

  4. Avatar

    Barbara S.

    Says August 08, 2023 at 8:22 pm

    That was truly powerful last night. Great reading too! I can definitely relate. 🙏🏼🙌🏼🙏🏼

    • Avatar

      Rick W.

      Says August 08, 2023 at 8:30 pm

      It was, wasn’t it?!?!?! Thanks!

Leave Your Comment