On June 10th Alcoholics Anonymous celebrates another birthday and another year of life saving miracles.
In 1935 a meeting between a NY stock broker and a medical doctor took place. This meeting changed the not only the lives of these two men forever but was about to become the one of the greatest spiritual movements ever. A movement with no profit motives and one wanting to be anonymous in it’s work.
Bill Wilson the NY stock broker was at the bitter end after having watched his life go from great hope and big plans to becoming a hopeless drunk with several attempts of going into a hospital to get well. In fact if it wasn’t for his wife Lois and his father in law, Bill may have been homeless like many of the drunkards of the time.
After finally sobering up (after vital spiritual experience while lying in a hospital bed) Bill realized that one of the ways he was to stay sober was by helping other drunks to get sober.
During at time in June, Bill Wilson (sober about six months) took a business trip to Ohio. His hope was that he could put a business deal together and strike it rich and become a “big shot” again. Not sure what would’ve happened if Bill got his wishes, and I’m so grateful God orchestrated the entire process.
After realizing at the end of his trip in Ohio that the deal fell through Bill paced the lobby of his hotel (The Mayflower Hotel in Akron Ohio) with little money and no business prospects in the foreseeable future.
Then it began again. Bill needed something to deal with life. He needed something to deal with more disappointment. He also heard the music and laughter coming from the bar near the lobby. Thinking he could go in and perhaps make some fast friendships and perhaps have a bottle of ginger ale or two or three drinks and figure things out in the bar”.
Bill felt the insidious insanity of the first drink on him
Then once again God rescues Him. Bill had a moment of clarity and remembers that helping drunks kept him sober.
He walked to the hotel directory and began making calls looking for a drunk to help.
He finally reached someone who was receptive. Henrietta Sieberling, friend of Anne Smith, husband of Doctor Bob Smith (soon to become AA’s co-founder).
Henrietta and Anne had been praying for God to help Dr. Bob with his drinking problem. They invite Bill over. Bill first attempt to talk to Dr. Bob was postponed because Dr. Bob was to drunk –again.
They met on Bill’s second attempt.
Dr. Bob was very reluctant to meet Bill thinking he was a salesman but agreed to give him 15 minutes.
Five hours later these two men wrapped up their talk.
They were to spearhead the AA movement that would finally help drunk’s live sober lives. Dr. Bob got drunk once more on a trip to Atlantic City. Bill was still in Akron. Bill passed on the answer he had found to Dr. Bob. And on June 10th 1935 Dr. Bob has his last drink.
The two set out to save drunks. The two have saved millions in spirit, as AA has kept the torch lit and have passed it on since then.
Families have been reunited. Men and women have found a safe haven and God has been and continues to be at the center of all their lives.
Happy Birthday AA!!
Thank you AA!!
Thank you God!!
Chop wood, carry water