A few weeks ago, there was a snake on my back deck. I am pretty sure it was not a poisonous snake, but I was told it would still have a mean bite. I stayed away. I stayed safely in my home. I even made sure my doors were locked tight!
Just a night or so ago I dreamed about having snakes inside my house and under my bed. Seeing a snake on my back deck left me a little traumatized and reminded me that I really do not like snakes.
Something happened in my early childhood that left me, what one may say, a bit traumatized. I remember watching my dad stumble across the street late one night. He was staggering and eventually fell down in the middle of the two lane highway at the edge of our small town. Just yards away from where he fell the speed limit increased to 65 mph. It was late at night so not a lot of traffic but still a busy, dangerous place to fall. Two people, I don’t know who, rushed out to pick him up and help him get home. Mostly in the darkness, I just saw shadows but what I knew as a very young girl was this fall happened because my dad had been drinking with the neighbor across the street and it stung.
I do praise the good Lord that within a few years of that incident my Dad gloriously received Christ as his Savior. His life was changed and ultimately our lives were changed forever. As a Christian my dad was steady and faithful. He was passionate about avoiding the temptation to ever touch alcohol again. He would not enter a store, gas station, or restaurant that served alcohol. He asked my Mom to shop at grocery stores that did not carry alcohol and she did. My Dad did not want to support businesses that sold “the stuff.” As I said, he was passionate.
You could say I have inherited some of the passion my Dad developed against the evils of alcohol. We grew up with a preacher who preached against it. This kind of preaching split the church in our small town. Eventually those who chose alcohol ran Pastor Owens out of town. It was a sad day for me as a 15 year old girl. The saddest day for many years. The preacher’s daughter was my very best friend.
To be sure, today, even in Christian circles, to drink or not to drink is a hot topic.
Recently, my pastor reminded our congregation about one of Aesop’s fables, The Scorpion and the Frog. The following description is from Wikipedia.
“A scorpion wants to cross a river but cannot swim, so it asks a frog to carry it across. The frog hesitates, afraid that the scorpion might sting it, but the scorpion promises not to, pointing out that it would drown if it killed the frog in the middle of the river. The frog considers this argument sensible and agrees to transport the scorpion. Midway across the river, the scorpion stings the frog anyway, dooming them both. The dying frog asks the scorpion why it stung despite knowing the consequence, to which the scorpion replies: "I am sorry, but I couldn't resist the urge. It's in my nature."
The sermon that day was not on the evils of alcohol, but immediately when Pastor Stephen said, “It’s in my nature,” my mind went to Proverbs 23:32.
“At the last it biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.”
“”Stingeth like an adder!’ What stings like a snake?!?” My mind raced. It was then that it dawned on me that it was the nature of alcoholic beverages to sting. I went home and read through the passage in Proverbs 23 carefully. I knew then that God would have me write this.