A candidate for AA membership said to his sponsor, “Look here, old chap, I’ve read the Twelve Steps from cover to cover. I guess I understand it thoroughly, but I don’t see yet how it’s going to keep me perpetually sober.”
“Well,” answered the sponsor, “just pick up that book on my desk and open it to any page and read to me whatever is written there.”
The man opened the book and said, “But this page is a recipe for a chocolate cake.”
“Read it aloud.” The fellow did.
“Now read it again,” demanded the sponsor. When the chap had done so he asked him to read it yet once again, aloud.
When the reading of this recipe had been completed for the third time, the sponsor said, “Right–you have studied and read this recipe for chocolate cake three times. But you haven’t got a chocolate cake, have you? You have read the Twelve Steps from cover to cover, but you haven’t got sobriety either–both need practical application. You certainly won’t get the cake unless you obtain and use the ingredients and make the cake, and you won’t obtain sobriety unless you do the same.”