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  • Writer's pictureMike and Glenn

Working Miracle

Sobriety makes no sense.  How can one spend most of their lives struggling with an addiction, pressing on for decades, interweaving alcohol into every waking activity, and then abruptly cease consumption entirely?

Some would call that a miracle – and some would say choice. Some would be right – and some would be wrong. 

Anyone can research on their own, but we have found our best research suggests that 6 – 8 % of Americans have significant “challenges” with alcohol consumption.  You can call it Alcoholism, Alcohol Use Disorder, or Alcohol Abuse.  We believe that most of this pool would not admit to their condition.  And, less than 5% of said sampling seek treatment. 

So how did we end up holding a 1-in-a-million lottery ticket (actual odds, per our investigation: 1-1,715,000)?

Was it luck? Was it celestial intervention or a cosmic coincidence? Was it via osmosis? Was it a result of our willpower and goal-setting? Was it the outcome of behavioral therapy? Was it a decision based on simple logic? Was it motivated by love for our family? Was it by faith alone? Was it a health scare, legal troubles, or relationship strife? Did we put together or read about and execute a 12-part strategy for success?  Was it our good works? Or, was it a power greater than any human power that bought the ticket on our behalf – a miracle?

The question is worth asking, and for those who make a deep-rooted connection to an answer, this “why” can provide the conduit to long-term success. 

We have debated the use of the term “miracle” for a long time. For some it is used to define the lifting of the obsession, the compulsion to drink. For many, it is used to describe their days of abstinence.  For others, it is used to describe the life that sobriety has delivered. 

Webster (the dictionary of choice for many) defines miracles in these ways: 1. an extraordinary event taken as a sign of the supernatural power of God. 2.  an extremely outstanding or unusual event, thing, or accomplishment.

Oxford (widely regarded as the accepted authority on the English language) describes a miracle as: A surprising and welcome event that is not explicable by natural or scientific laws and is therefore considered to be the work of a divine agency.

Alcoholics Anonymous talks about miracles on page 85 of the big book:

“We will see that our new attitude toward liquor has been given us without any thought or effort on our part. It just comes! That is the miracle of it. We are not fighting it, neither are we avoiding temptation. We feel as though we had been placed in a position of neutrality - safe and protected. We have not even sworn off. Instead, the problem has been removed.”

Please note that there are 84 pages of content and direction previous to this revelation. In other words, work had been spelled out that efforted us to this place. 

It has been argued that a miracle would be waking up 40 lbs. lighter.  Changing eating habits and working out can achieve the same results and should not be considered a miracle.

So, did the miracle come before work or after work?  It could be said that the weight loss miracle is found in the fact that one was granted the willingness and discipline to make behavioral changes that resulted in the drop.

Our best argument is that there is solid reasoning that sobriety is extraordinary, outstanding, unusual, and an accomplishment (Webster) as well as surprising, welcome, and not explicable by science and the work of the divine (Oxford.) 

We have also come to rely on the statement that faith without works is dead. Yes, the phrase has Biblical roots, but it is also a practical guide in accomplishing any feat.  One can want something with all that is within them, but sitting on the couch will not get that something.  Something has to be done to get something. 

We think the miracle is in the openness and willingness placed on our hearts.  The miracle is that there is a program of action that has worked for millions and is working for us.

We are witness to the fact that life can change on a dime.  We have seen our own lives transformed.  We acknowledge that we did not think ourselves capable – we still don’t.  We were touched and moved to doing the next right thing in front of us.  Open and willing, we took the steps. 

We are a working miracle.



Thoughts and ideas for this blog post were taken and built upon from a podcast, # 34 titled " Is Sobriety a "Miracle"?”  The session dropped on 11/24/2021….Click here to hear the podcast. 


Photo by Anne Nygård on Unsplash



Alcoholics Anonymous and AA are registered trademarks of Alcoholics World Service. Inc. References to AA, the 12 steps, and 12 traditions does not mean that AA has reviewed or approved the contents of this publication nor that AA agrees with the views expressed herein. This publication is intended to support personal growth and should not be considered a substitute for healthcare professionals' advice. The author’s advice and viewpoints are their own.


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