In regards to Dr. Paul's story -- I'm sure glad that they left it in the book. He was one of the finest examples of AA that I ever had the pleasure to meet. I believe that the key to understanding Paul's intentions when he talked of acceptance... is one of the key ideas that was mentioned above...
When I am disturbed
As I understood him, he was talking about emotional disturbances. When he was disturbed emotionally... acceptance was what he believed and understood... was necessary, to begin the "quieting process." Naturally, I can't speak for him... and fortunately, many of his talks were recorded and are available so that anyone can listen to him tell it the way that he saw it.
In regards to acceptance being the solution to a problem... acceptance is not going to fix a flat tire on my car no matter how much acceptance I have. I can say "hey! I accept it! I've got a flat tire! Getting upset about it is not going to fix the flat either! I can relax, take it easy... open the trunk, take out the jack, jack up the car, and change the tire." And, as far as I know... God has never changed one of my tires either! If He did change one of my tires... I didn't know I had a flat and I didn't see Him fix it!
Also... I can have a flat tire on my car... and not accept it! I can be real disturbed about it!!! I can drive the car until the rubber burns off the rim! And, still not accepting it... if I get out and jack it up and change the tire (taking actions that I'm unwilling to take... but taking them anyway)... my flat tire will get fixed!
So... the arguments or debates about acceptance become mute... as long as I take certain actions... willing or unwilling doesn't even have anything to do with it.... if I take the actions... changes will get made.
I'm sure glad that Bill W., didn't just accept the fact that he was a hopeless alcoholic who was going to just die or have to be locked up until he died... or, he would drink himself to death (As he heard Dr. Silkworth explain to his wife Lois). Bill got busy. Got into action. Got himself hospitalized and called for Ebby to come and see him and bring him a particular book.... and Bill got some results from his actions. He made the changes that he needed to make rather than just sitting and waiting for God to zap him sober!
I'm also glad that Bill, while he stood in the Mayflower Hotel... looking at the lounge and knowing that he was going to drink and get drunk... didn't just accept his fate and say "What the hell? It must be a God deal! Spritual principle! I accept that I'm going to get drunk... so I might as well get in there and start chug-a-lugging!" Nope. Bill took some actions on the changes that he needed to be making... rather than waiting for God to just zap the desire out of him... he got busy looking for another alcoholic to help.
If Bill had have just accepted his problem and his fate... without blazing a course of actions that could be passed on to me... I wouldn't be sitting here alive, safe, sane and sober to write this!
I've been there... done that... and almost bought the rope... being unhappy and depressed in my sobriety... waiting for God to do something... that only I could do! And, that was to re-take the 12 Steps... and to discipline myself to doing a daily, written 10th Step... along with the "throughout the day" 10th Steps.
Bill writes about this stuff in the 12 & 12 and in the Big Book. There is a spiritual axiom -- that when I'm disturbed... the problem I have is the problem that is inside me... and the only one who can fix that problem inside me is me. I have been given the tools to fix the problem... and God, or no one else can use those tools for me. I can accept the fact when I'm disturbed... but it isn't going to fix my problem. If it would fix the problem... I wouldn't need a spiritual toolkit. I wouldn't need any tools. I could just use my head to fix my head.
(I tried that, too!!!)
I believe the key to this stuff is what we read, in most every AA meeting (that I've attended)... pages 58, 59 & 60, of "How it works" in the BB. The terms and conditions are on those pages. I can accept those terms and conditions... and take the actions that are necessary... or I can reject it, throw the book away, and/or... look for another solution.
So... I believe that the answers to all the questions posed by the newer guy, or the old-timer, or anyone else can be found on those pages... (58-60).
"If" God could and would... but "I don't"... then, He won't! And, that's regardless if I accept it or not!
There is a story about a guy... in Chapter 11, A Vision for You... who was unhappy with his sobriety. It's a very dangerous place for an alcoholic to be.... sober and unhappy at the same time. It's also an unnecessary place for a sober alcoholic to be. We have a solution... and, that's the good news! That's what AA has to offer... for those who will "work for it"... and that is to be happy and sober at the same time. Is that not practical? Nope. It's not practical... from the outside looking in... but, from the inside looking out... I know it works!
For the guy who's not happy? The only one who can do something about that... is him. If his solution isn't working... then, he could try the solution that's in the BB.
We used to have a saying in my old home group... it was "If you've been around here for much time at all... and you're still not happy... then, maybe you're doing it wrong!"