By Harold Keller
Leaving the funeral home Monday morning, a family member of the deceased stopped me. Being younger than me, I really didn’t know much about his whereabouts over the years, even though I’ve known him all of his life.
He said that he just wanted to thank me for my articles in and that they had helped him in his sobriety. He shared that he has been sober for approximately 30 years. Curiously, I asked what motivated him to stop drinking.
“I’m a born-again Christian and that changed my life,” he said.
I, then, asked if he had been sober since that spiritual experience.
“No,” he said, “for three months after my conversion, I continued to drink and smoke marijuana. I tried to hold on to my old way of life, but the Holy Spirit continued to convict me and I felt guilty. Alcohol and marijuana didn’t satisfy me anymore.”
He continued, “When I decided to quit, I had two bags of marijuana and drove to City Park in New Orleans and threw them away. That’s been approximately 30 years ago and I’ve never looked back.” With a smile, he said, “My life has been great! My wife and I attend church regularly and serve God to the best of our ability.”
Even though we grew up in the same, small community of Reserve and I knew his family, I never got to know him very well, because of our age difference. Also, we traveled in different social circles and didn’t have much in common.
That all changed in a matter of 10 to 15 minutes. Because of our conversation, we found out we have the most important thing in common. We are both saved, know Jesus in a personal way, and are brothers in Christ.
Before we parted, we agreed that by being saved, Jesus changed our hearts, but we still had the same head and were capable of what recovering alcoholics refer to as “stinking thinking.” We realize that at times we are tempted to go back to our old ways of satisfying the flesh.
As I drove home, I thanked God for that encouraging and exciting meeting and, also, that He had given me an article for this week.