One of my favorite recovery speakers is Bob Earle from New Mexico and one of my favorite Bob Earle stories is the Eskimo story. Earle tells this story when he talks about how he came to find AA and how we might come to find God.
It goes like this:
There are two guys sitting together in a bar in the remote Alaskan wilderness. One of the men is very religious and the other man is an atheist.
Eventually the conversation turns to God and the atheist says to the devout man, “Look, it’s not like I don’t have actual reasons for not believing in God—I even experimented with the whole God-prayer thing. Just last month, I was far out on the tundra and I got trapped in a big blizzard. I could not see a thing and I was so lost. And so I tried God. I got on my knees and I prayed, “God, if there is a God, I’m going to die out here, please help me get back to camp.”
So in the bar, the religious man looks at the atheist and says, “Well for heaven’s sake, you must believe; here you are! You’re alive!”
But the atheist rolls his eyes at the religious man and sighs and says, “No man, all that happened was that some Eskimos came along and showed me the way back to camp.”
If we are in recovery we have certainly met some Eskimos. The tricky part is after we are in recovery for a bit, and we are trying to change our lives, we are not always sure when we are meeting another Eskimo.