I have known people who have gone through 12-Step programs of various kinds -- Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous, Overeaters Anonymous. And I have seen how those programs change lives, or, in many cases, save lives.
Participants in 12-Step programs cannot begin down the difficult path of recovery without turning their lives over to a Higher Power, which is somewhat miraculous in and of itself when you consider the fact that the founder of the program had been an "irreligious man who venerated science and disbelieved in a personal God." That's according to columnist Bill Reel, who reflects back on the humble beginnings of a program that is now in place in 150 countries.
AA Founder Bill Wilson was 39 when he hit bottom and finally turned to God in utter desperation.
From Reel's column in Catholic New York:
"The divine response was immediate, overwhelming and life-changing. Suddenly the hospital room seemed to fill with a blazing light. Wilson felt ecstatic. He was at peace and free. God was real and present. In a new world of consciousness, he thought, "So this is the God of the preachers!"Sometimes out of desperation comes hope. We don't have to be an alcoholic or a drug addict to benefit from Wilson's insights and the program that constantly reminds people that we are powerless without God.
"The episode might have been a hallucination, of course, yet Wilson always remained convinced of God's merciful intervention. 'We have found that God does not make too hard terms with those who seek him,' he later wrote."
Read the full column by clicking HERE.