Paul, threatening with every breath and eager to destroy every Christian, went to the High Priest in Jerusalem. He requested a letter addressed to synagogues in Damascus, requiring their cooperation in the persecution of any believers he found there, both men and women so that he could bring them in chains to Jerusalem. As he was nearing Damascus on this mission, suddenly a brilliant light from heaven spotted down upon him! He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Paul! Paul! Why are you persecuting me?” “Who is speaking, sir?” Paul asked. And the voice replied, “I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting! Now get up and go into the city and await my further instructions.” The men with Paul stood speechless with surprise, for they heard the sound of someone’s voice but saw no one! As Paul picked himself up off the ground, he found that he was blind. He had to be led into Damascus and was there three days, blind, going without food and water all that time. Acts 9:1-9
Where were you when you first thought about entering recovery?
For me, I was in Adelaide on one of my, many geographicals in 1987. My Dad had just died and even though for most of my life he wasn’t around and I never really knew him it affected me. And, as every alcoholic does it times of hurt I got drunk. At the time I was living in shared accommodation, working through the day and drinking when I wasn’t working. On this occasion, it was cold and wet outside so I bought alcohol on the way home from work and proceeded to get drunk. Because of the cold weather outside, I set myself up in the house, where I was home alone in front of an electric bar heater. You guessed it when I got drunk enough I fell asleep, knocked the heater over and set fire to the carpet.
I was awoken by a housemate who came home saw what I had done and put the fire out. Because of that incident, I was evicted from where I was living and decide to go back to Western Australia. So I quit my job and off I went. On the trip back to W.A. I thought about the incident and realized I needed to do something about my drinking. So on my return to W.A., I headed to Rockingham, my home town for my teenage years and booked myself into rehab there. I would like to say recovery started from there but it didn’t. I was one of those people who the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous talks about when it talks about people being incapable of being honest. So I learned to play the ‘Sobriety Game’
My decision to enter recovery came a couple of years later. After spending a couple of years on the ‘revolving door’ The decision came through a personal audience with Jesus Christ. Alone in my room in rehab in Adelaide one night, knowing I needed to get serious about recovery I knelt at the side of my bed to pray. As I prayed I heard the voice of Jesus say to me “Archie, you do not need to live like this anymore. follow me and I will lead you.” That was in 1989. From that day to this day He leads I follow.
How about you. Paul had to be knocked down and blinded. I had to leave my family and everything I held dear in order to be stopped long enough to hear the voice of Jesus, pay attention to it and make a conscious decision to make a positive life change. Where were you when you first decided to enter recovery?