From Pain to Purpose

Andy Crooks writing as Andy C
2 min readJan 4, 2024

From the Big Book, “… God is concerned with us humans when we want Him enough.”

This is a truth for alcoholics and for everyone else. Before God will come, the need must be great enough.

When my sponsor pointed this out to me, I formed a resentment against God. At that time, the only way for me to need God enough was to suffer enough pain to need Him. I focused on the Big Book phrase, “Pain is the touchstone of growth.” I thought, why is the universe designed to require me to suffer before I need God? I did not like this state of affairs, and believed God could have arranged things better.

Then, I had an insight.

“Enough” does not mean pain. Though it often includes pain, perhaps there are other ways to reach the point of needing God enough. Pain may be sufficient to trigger a desire for God, but it is not necessary.

If I desire to change, not from pain but from a positive desire to change, I can want God enough. I can meet the enough standard by seeing a character or other change and wanting it.

This desire to change comes about when I follow my routine of personal inventories: day, week, month, quarter, year, and annual. I see the problems that need change and remember prior changes with God’s help.

I can remember God’s help with sufficient force; sufficient to give me enough desire to desire God enough.



Andy Crooks writing as Andy C

For Andy C, not drinking was the first spiritual awakening. He’s been blessed with subsequent spiritual awakenings as the results of the 12 steps.