The Daily WORD is TEMPERANCE
When I was ten, I impressed my Southern Baptist grandmother by signing The Loyal Temperance League Pledge at Sunday School. I pledged I would not smoke, drink, or swear. Wearing a little brown hat with a veil, she proudly informed all her church-lady friends. As soon as she left, I said “damn.” I had my first beer at 16, and by 17 I was an avid smoker. To top off my rebellion, I lost my virginity while drunk, then lit up the obligatory Winston. “Hell of a night,” I told my roommate. By then I was a Presbyterian.
“Christians don’t smoke in India,” I was cautioned some years ago.
“How can you be a Christian and SMOKE,” I was admonished in Uganda.
“Is she really a Christian – she smokes!” I overheard in Honduras.
After offending The World, I stopped smoking four years ago. I want to be quite clear about the fact that it had nothing to do with The Pledge, my state of grace, or fear of offending people.
It was strictly an economic decision. The price of cigarettes exceeded my pleasure in smoking. I gained 40 pounds and took up temper tantrums. I am not a better person for having given up smoking; I just have more money to spend on gingersnaps, Big Macs, Krispy Kremes, burritos, pizza, and beer.
Up in heaven, a Southern Belle in a little brown hat with a veil is boasting to her fellow angels about her back-to-the-fold granddaughter, blithely blind to the burritos and beer.