There are many things that the Apostle Paul and Bill Wilson ~ AA and the church ~ have in common. We will look at eight of them. In the previous post, we looked at the “spiritual awakening” of Bill Wilson, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. This week we look at the “spiritual awakening” of the apostle Paul:
A SPIRITUAL AWAKENING
The Apostle Paul
The man we call Paul was originally named Saul and was a devout Jew who became a proud persecutor of the followers of Jesus. One day while on the road to Damascus, Saul was confronted by Jesus who asked, “Saul, why are you persecuting me?” Saul was knocked off his horse and blinded for three days by that encounter! Just as with Bill W., in a blinding flash, his sense of self, of God, and of community had changed dramatically and forever.
After his spiritual awakening, when he had regained his senses and his sight, Saul changed his name to Paul and began to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the world. For the rest of his life, just like Bill W., Paul traveled from church to church, town to town, and home to home, helping fledgling groups achieve their primary purpose of living a life built upon spiritual principles, serving God, and being of help to others.Bill Wilson had made the good news of spiritual recovery through sobriety available throughout the world. And Paul had, two thousand years earlier, made the good news of spiritual recovery through Christ available throughout the world. Together, though two millennia apart, Paul and Bill changed countless minds, hearts, and lives.
God had reached down and touched the life of the Apostle Paul in a very profound way on the Damascus Road. And God reached down and touched the life of the Apostle Bill in a very profound way in Towns Hospital on Central Park West in New York City. Paul had once looked at the world, “through a glass darkly,” and Bill had once looked at the world through a glass of dark beer. But what they had in common was that both had been blinded and knocked down by the light of some “divine” or “spiritual” encounter. Once back on their feet, after having had a spiritual awakening, they set off in a new direction in life: helping and guiding others as they had been helped and guided by the God of their understanding.
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