“There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is a way to death.”
Most people decide a moral code for themselves. As we grow up, in childhood through adolescence and into adulthood, this code forms. This moral code provides us with the ability to get through traumatic situations as well as making everyday decisions.
My parents taught me to be a rule follower. Whether I was in school or home, I was expected to abide by the rules. Of course, I was human and broke rules. I suffered the consequences and usually learned the first time (okay, maybe after the third time) rules are there for a reason.
I feared disappointing my parents, teachers or God, so I stayed out of trouble throughout high school and even into college. However the summer before my senior year of college, I began to question some things and loosen up on following the rules. And the reason being, I met a cute guy.
The summer before my senior year of college, I interned for a professional roller hockey team. This team and their staff were filled with really cute and athletic men. Since I love hockey and many of them played minor league ice hockey in the winter, I felt like I was in hockey heaven. Not before long I noticed their athletic trainer and equipment manager, named Mike, who was a couple of years older than me. He began to notice me too.
Mike and I began to hang out at the rink and soon began dating each other. He would tell me about his goals of going to medical school after he saved some money from work. His father was an assistant coach and he seemed to approve of me as well. The family seemed great and he was driven and on his way to being successful. But there was just one thing…he was a drinker, a heavy drinker and I never drank.
To describe my drinking history would be non-existent. I didn’t try any alcohol until I was 21 years old (rule follower). And even the couple of times that I would order a drink, I would sip about 25% of the drink and be done. I never had a hangover either.
As Mike and I dated, I began to drink. I knew my tolerance level, so I still would manage to not get drunk. He would be wasted. I was the designated driver for us. After games, we would meet a local bar. I noticed a staff member named Michelle, starting to flirt with Mike. They each already drank a 6 pack of beer and the night barely started. I was getting angry that she was aggressive and he was loving it. In my anger, the quarter of margarita I was drinking for over an hour, suddenly was gone. Mike noticed I finished with it, gave me a “high five” and diverted his attention back to me.
We decided to leave, but this time, neither one of us could or should drive. I knew that I never wanted to drink and drive because I knew the severity of drunk driving. However, I tried to drive anyway. I was driving about 5 miles per hour in a 35 miles per hour on the street but pulled over and said I can’t drive. Mike offered to drive and I told him neither one of us should drive. He got angry and said that maybe Michelle (the one flirting with him all night) should take him back to his hotel. I got mad, started the car and drove him to his hotel.
By the grace of God, I made it to the hotel. He wanted me to go up to his room and I did, even though I knew it was a mistake. Even as I made terrible choices that night, I prayed for a way to get me out of this situation. He opened the door and his father already was back from the bar.
Halleighluia! This was my way out! Because I knew Mike would never try anything with his father there. I think Mike’s dad knew I was uncomfortable. He told me that Mike would pass out shortly and that I could stay on the couch (that was outside the bedroom) until I sobered up. I called my dad and told him that I felt to drunk to drive but I would leave as soon as I felt normal again. I drank water and rested. Sure enough Mike was passed out and I sobered up and left for home.
On the drive home, I did a lot of thinking about what became of myself. I didn’t like how I was behaving or the decisions I was making in the time I was dating Mike. It was time to stop dating him. The next day, I told him my decision and later that day, he was already hanging out with Michelle. Even though I knew it was the right decision, it still hurt.
I was 22 years old when this happened, I’m 40 years old now and haven’t drank any alcohol since that night.
Thank God, I didn’t get into an accident that night or was taken advantage of sexually. So, I am glad that I realized I followed rules for a reason and my morality should be aligned with what God wanted for my life. In the next few years, I still made mistakes but I always found my way back to God.
God will always give us a way out of temptation if we look for it. To reap from sin is not a way to live.
Lesson Learned: If a choice seems knowingly bad, align it with what God would want for you and make the decision to stop.
“Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for your mercy and forgiveness. Forgive me for making poor choices. I ask that I hear the Holy Spirit loud and clear to make the right decision. Remind me that all choices have consequences to help me not make poor ones. In those areas where there is lack, fill them with love, acceptance and grace. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”