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Sponsorship is an experience that you must not miss. Sponsorship is the heart, the heart of the AA approach to recovery. The heart is the most vital organ of your body. Without the heart, you die.
The basic concept of the entire program of Alcoholics Anonymous is sponsorship, one alcoholic sharing an experience with another alcoholic.
But you know where a lot of people make mistakes, new people, they say, oh, I don’t want to burden anybody with all my problems. I don’t want to call the guy up in the middle of the night. He’s got enough to worry about with my petty stuff.
Get that idea out of your head.
Because sponsorship is a two edged sword. Don’t ever think for one minute that the old timer may not need you more than you need him. We refer to the newcomers as the life blood of the program of Alcoholics Anonymous. You are just as vital to the old timer as the old timer is vital to you.
Men have gotten up there and said, I was sober about 23 years and I’m getting ready to take a drink. And one of the kids I sponsor showed up at the door that night. The sponsoree saved the sponsor.
We were coming over the bridge. And here, there’s one or two ships coming in, one going out. And I got to thinking of this, as I always do.
I love the sea, and I get excited by the sea. And I’m glad, because that’s what I relate sponsorship to.
Did you ever think what these guys who sail these ships are like? There’s a ship probably somewhere, maybe Olangapo in the Philippine Islands right now, being loaded. And its destination is going to be the Port of Oakland.
And some guy is going to get on it. And he’s going to steer that ship. He’s going to bring that ship about 7,000 miles across the ocean.
And then all of a sudden, he sails them 7,000 miles, and he gets up there around the Farallon Islands, about a mile away from the bridge. And they throttle down.
And then the damnedest thing happens. A little launch comes out from the bay.
Pulls up alongside of this ship. They drop a ladder over the side. Like Pac Man, the guy goes up there.
And then the master of that ship, the captain of the ship, the guy that has sailed this so many thousand miles, only got one more mile to go to Oakland. And he turns the ship over to this guy.
This guy is going to bring the ship in.
Now, why in the hell does he have to bring it in? Why shouldn’t this other guy, the guy that’s sailed it so far bring it in? Obviously, you all know what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the harbor pilot.
Why is the pilot more important at that point?
Because he is up to date on every condition of that harbor. He knows everything that’s gone on in that harbor right up until that very minute. He knows if the tides have changed, if a sandbar has come, or if there’s an underwater hazard here, or if a pier burnt down here last night, one of them under fire over there, or they got a ship already in here.
He knows every condition surrounding the harbor at that moment. And obviously, the captain of the ship couldn’t know all of those things. So he brings him in safely.
And that’s exactly what a sponsor is. See, you’ve been out there sailing around all your life. And now you’re right in here where you’re going to grab something. And you don’t know a damn thing about this.
You can say you’re taking the steps. But you don’t know if you’re taking them right or wrong unless there’s somebody there to tell you.
And that’s what a sponsor is about.