For the first 46 years of my life, I was a teetotaler (except for the alcohol in Ny-Quill of which I occasionally imbibed).
You see, my parents wouldn’t have alcohol in the house. They had both grown up in the Virginia mountains where illegal moonshine was a long-established part of the culture – homemade and profitable. Witnessing the pain of addiction that led to broken families, poverty, brawls and arrests my
parents, as newlyweds, determined that alcohol would not be a part of their home or in the lives of their children.
Later, my husband and I decided that we also would not have alcohol in our home because as missionaries, we wanted to model Spirit-filled
lived to new Christians; lives free from drunkenness and addictions. (Eph. 5:18).
Now for a peacemaker, a follow-the-rules conformer like me, I must admit that I often secretly pondered, “I wonder what kind of person I would be if I drank? Would I be more fun? Would my quiet, mild-mannered presence suddenly become the life of the party?”
Finally, at the age of 46, I tasted by first champagne. My first reaction (drum roll please) ….it tasted like vinegar!!
What’s all the hype! I determined that one must have to learn to like it. So occasionally I would try a glass of wine to see if I could join the world of wine connoisseurs. Much to my chagrin, I found that my personality didn’t turn into a rollicking, karaoke-singing extrovert. The opposite occurred. After just a sip or two, I simply curled up into a ball and went to sleep.
So much for that experiment!
Today, I have no problem with someone enjoying a mug of beer or glass of wine… all done in moderation. However, I wonder why I ever strived to be something I was not, forcing myself to conform to the world, to please an individual or group, to forget my unique, God-created self?
Psalm 139:13-16 (MSG)
13 Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out; you formed me in my mother’s womb.
14 I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking! Body and soul, I am marvelously made! I worship in adoration—what a creation!
15 You know me inside and out, you know every bone in my body; You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
16 Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, The days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.