Seventh Step: We Humbly Ask
“We humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.”
As it says in the NA Daily Meditation, Just for Today: “Why do we call them ‘shortcomings’? Perhaps they should be called ‘long-goings…’” Maybe by the time we’ve reached this step, we have yet to be rid of these, “long-goings.” We still act out, we still get angry, and we’re still full of fear and resentments.
Step Seven is another reminder from Step Six, that it is our Higher Power’s job to remove our character defects, or as they are called in Step Seven, shortcomings. The obvious Spiritual Principle in the Seventh Step is Humility. What a great place for recovering addict or alcoholic to be, in a state of humility! Not the humility we feel when our fly is open, it is the awareness that we are not the do-all end all. We have finally realized our “right size.” We are no longer less than or better than anyone else, we can finally “just be” who we are, grateful recovering people. Humility is not thinking less of ourselves, it’s thinking of ourselves, less. And possibly, allowing others to be who they are, as well.
The next Spiritual Principle is Surrender. We have been introduced to this Principle in the previous steps, especially the First Step. In Step One, we Surrender to the disease and learn to Surrender to the Program. In Step Two, we have Surrendered some more, by becoming God-reliant. We experience Surrender on a deeper, more spiritual level in the Seventh Step. The admission in Step One helps us here in admitting that some of things we still do are less than spiritual. The Second Step Surrender reminds us in Step Seven, that God again, is large and in charge!
The Trust and Faith we have been practicing thus far is just what we need in the Seventh Step. Up to now, we may not have even realized that God has been doing for us what we could not do for ourselves. We get through situations which use to cripple us. Our family likes us and wants us around. Friends call us and want to hang out. The boss and co-workers no longer steer clear when we’re headed their way. And if we’re humble enough to see these miracles in our new lives, then we have the capacity to realize that this is not our doing, but God’s. In Step Seven, God has the power to remove our shortcomings, as long we believe and continue to have Faith and Trust in Him.
The next Spiritual Principle might baffle us, Patience. What does Patience have to do with the Seventh Step? If we’ve been around a little while, we’ve been told not to pray for Patience. We will promptly be stuck in long lines, stand-still traffic, and small spaces with crying babies. The Patience needed now is in direct proportion with our Surrender and Humility in understanding the removal of shortcomings happens in God’s time, not ours. Hint: Impatience may be a shortcoming!
We are now ready to become willing in Step Eight to make a list. Go to Step Eight