Last week, I was at an event hosted by a company I do business with at my job, and I was representing my office alone. Usually, I have someone else from my office with me, to cut the awkward moments, but this time, I was flying solo, and thats never a good thing.
I have this amazing talent of saying the dumbest things when I get nervous. Most of the time, what I say doesnt even make sense in English (or Pig Latin for that matter) so people dont respond (because they wouldnt be sure how to!) But on occasion, I say things, that while they are dumb, they could make sense, and there fore make for an interesting time.
So I was there, surrounded by people I didnt know, trying my best to do my job and do some name swapping and PR, and everything was fine…until we sat down to dinner, and the margaritas started coming. An hour into the meeting, the four people around me had already consumed about 3-4 each, and lets just say they were becoming a little bold. I was certianly uncomfortable, but I just had to hang in a little longer. Thats when one of the gentlemen across the table from me shouted “Hey! Where’s your drink? What are you, at like -2?!? Hey waiter, bring her a margarita!” At which point, I instantly felt my face go red, my hands started sweating, and I heard myself utter “Oh no, thats okay. I dont drink….(pause)….in public” (Internal me is screaming “WHAAAAAT!?!?!?! In PUBLIC?!?!? YOU DONT DRINK EVER!!!!”) To this moment, I am not even sure why I tagged that on…I guess it was nerves, fear of feeling like the “little kid” they were all already calling me, because I was half their age as it was, all I know is I needed to get out of there, and I promptly excused myself from the meeting. I wish I had my do-overs to do -over, and I would have said things differently…but I cant go back.
Saying all of that…it made me think, long and hard about the decisions I have made in my life about alcohol. I meditated my words, and just cant seems to shake that statement. I dont know why I said it…but I wish I was more bold about my stand.
So here is why I dont drink…In public, or in private. (Disclaimer: This blog isnt to tell you why you shouldnt…but its the honest answer to the question I found myself asking on my way home from that event.)
First of all, because I believe that the Bible says its wrong.
Proverbs 20:1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.
There are dozens of verses that I could reference….but thats not really the point…I just believe that the Bible says its wrong.
But not only that, I choose not to drink (ever) because of personal experience. You can debate all day long about how the Bible doesnt say “Drinking” is wrong, but rather the “Act of being Drunk”, but I know, that no matter what side of that argument you are on, its a very fine line.
My family is filled with a long line of alcoholics. Its hard for me to say that, really, because you dont know them how I do. They are the most giving, loving, beautiful people that I honor and respect, but alcohol has them enslaved. He would do anything for me (and he has proved that) and no one has a bigger heart than he does. He is happy when we are happy, and he hurts when we hurt. BUT…he is trapped in a cycle of needing alcohol for comfort, and often times, its comfort from the pain alcohol has caused in his life.
Last week, my Aunt passed away. She struggled with depression from past mistakes and pain that she just didnt know how to deal with. Alcohol covered it up, but only for a moment. She had an argument with her spouse that got heated, and after he left to “cool down” she just couldnt handle it. She drank, and drank, and drank, until her life had ended, and all that remained was a body in a chair, tainted with the smell of liquor and a family devastated in her choices.
Alcohol doesnt just effect the consumer…it consumes the effected.
Ive seen families ripped apart, kids who hate their parents, wives who’ve lost hope for happiness, and funerals shamed with its intoxicating stench.
Someone once told me, “You wont become an alcoholic if you dont take the first drink” and its so true.
Why dont I drink? Well, the Bible tells me its wrong for me, and history has proven that its something that I dont want to trust myself to “handle”. Could I be a “social drinker”only, and never have a problem with alcoholism? Maybe….but what if I cant?
For my aunt, I wish she would hav found the peace that I have in my Salvation. There is no substitute for his grace and mercy in our lives. While she drank, as a “band-aid” for her pain, there was always that moment, when they band-aid came off, and that wound was still there. In HIM we find our comfort, but he doesnt just soothe our wounds, the Bible tells us that he is our HEALER.
I wonder how different things would have been in her life, had she only trusted Him, instead of the lies that sin allowed her to believe. How different her death would have been, had she given her sorrow to the Lord. How the world would have then seen her death, instead of shamefully, maybe it would have been glorious…maybe, had I been a bolder witness…maybe if I would have shared His love more.
Why dont I drink? I suppose if nothing else, from this point forward, to be a light in a sad and hurting world, that alcohol isnt where you drown your sorrows….its the cross where that happens.